Speaking at a Morgan Stanley investor conference in Barcelona yesterday, KPN chief executive officer Eelco Blok said that he expects Mexico’s America Movil (AM) to retain its stake in the Dutch group, despite its recent failed takeover bid. The Mexican holding firm, controlled by the billionaire Carlos Slim, controls a 29.7% stake in KPN but last month abandoned a plan to take control of the company after the KPN board rejected its EUR2.4 (USD3.2) per share offer, and an independent foundation stepped in to block any hostile bid. Blok however, said that the talks ultimately foundered over a disagreement on price, adding: ‘Looking at where the share price is today, looking at our expectations of the financial performance of KPN, and taking into account the average price they paid for their current 29.7% stake, I think they will keep their … stake’. AM paid roughly EUR3.24 per share for its stake and was not willing to move on price. As a result, Blok said the board opted not to continue negotiations on non-financial commitments and governance.
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