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America Movil Moves Carefully into Europe with Minority Stakes--CFO

--America Movil taking minority stakes in two European phone companies --Lack of mergers-and-acquisitions options in Latin America prompts move into Europe --America Movil goes carefully as it gets to know new markets By Anthony Harrup MEXICO CITY--Mexican telecommunications company America Movil SAB (AMX, AMX.MX) is treading lightly as it pursues geographic diversification in unfamiliar European markets after exhausting options for acquisitions in Latin America, the company's chief financial officer said Friday. America Movil, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, said Friday it has agreed to buy 21% of Telekom Austria AG (TKA.VI) from investor Ronny Pecik, to raise its stake to about 23%. The agreement follows an offer last month to buy up to 28% of Dutch phone company Royal KPN NV (KPN.AE), of which America Movil has so far accumulated 8%. America Movil Chief Financial Officer Carlos Garcia Moreno said in a telephone interview that the rationale for entering Europe was to continue with geographic diversification, which has given America Movil scale and solid cash-flow generation, even in times of economic turmoil. The company continues to invest and expand organically in Latin America, but "if we look at mergers and acquisitions in the region, there isn't much more to do, there isn't much more to buy," Mr. Garcia Moreno said. "If we want to continue with M&A, it will have to be elsewhere." Mr. Garcia Moreno said America Movil felt comfortable taking majority and outright stakes as it expanded in Latin America, but is less familiar with the competitive dynamics and customer preferences in Europe, which is why it's doing it through minority stakes. While KPN management has opposed America Movil's $3.28 billion offer, saying it undervalues the shares, Telekom Austria's Chief Executive Hannes Ametsreiter welcomed the Mexican carrier as "a strategic and long-term investor," bringing know-how and knowledge of the industry to the European concern. America Movil is Latin America's largest wireless service provider with 246 million mobile subscribers in 18 countries. The two offers are similar in that they bring America Movil's size and experience in creating value to their smaller European counterparts, Mr. Garcia Moreno said. "This is what we're bringing to the table." The company is also determined to maintain its conservative debt ratios to preserve its credit ratings, which are among the highest in the world for the telecommunications sector, and at present isn't looking to enter other regions, the official added. Write to Anthony Harrup at anthony.harrup@dowjones.com

Stock News for America Movil (AMX)
DateTimeHeadline
04/23/201419:00:12America Movil to Make Bid for Telekom Austria -- Update
04/23/201418:10:30America Movil to Make Bid for Telekom Austria
04/23/201412:24:36Social Media Protests in Mexico Shape Telecom Bill
04/16/201417:10:07American Express Profit Rises on Higher Revenue
04/16/201416:40:51American Express Quarterly Profit Rises on Higher Revenue
04/01/201417:18:51ADR Shares End Higher; Anheuser-Busch InBev Shares Active
04/01/201400:00:47Regulators Cut América Móvil's Interconnection Rates
03/28/201416:00:13214;IAG Cleared to Complete America Movil Deal
03/28/201415:46:15214;IAG Gets Go-Ahead to Complete Agreement With America Movil
03/24/201419:25:12Mexico's President Unveils Telecom Bill
03/21/201416:26:10American Express CEO Awarded $24.4 Million for 2013 -- Update
03/17/201417:41:09GE Consumer Finance Unit Faces Two Federal Probes
02/24/201417:20:37ADR Shares End Higher; HSBC Shares Active
02/24/201417:06:12Correction to America Movil May Hold Tie-Up Talks Story
02/24/201416:50:09America Movil May Hold Tie-Up Talks Over Telekom Austria
02/24/201416:27:58America Movial May Hold Tie-Up Talks Over Telekom Austria
02/13/201402:20:17Mexican Telecom Regulator Set Back by Court Ruling -- 3rd Update
02/13/201401:16:59Mexican Telecom Regulator Set Back by Court Ruling --Update
02/12/201418:18:38ADR Shares End Mixed; ING, Nokia Shares Active
02/12/201411:31:09America Movil Says KPN Stake Reduced for Financial Reasons

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