Mexico's America Movil raises stake in Dutch KPN to 23.4%

Mexican telecoms giant America Movil announced Tuesday it had raised its stake in Dutch operator KPN to 23.4 percent, edging closer to its unsolicited bid for a 27.7-percent share.

Taking into account the day's transactions and past purchases, America Movil now held "23.43 percent of all issued and outstanding shares," in the peer telecoms group KPN, the company said in a statement.

America Movil, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, has been moving closer in recent weeks to its goal of acquiring a substantial partial stake in the Hague-based KPN, despite resistance from KPN.

The company wants it as a foothold in the European market.

America Movil launched its bid on May 30 for just over a quarter of the Dutch group, offering eight euros ($10.07) a share or 2.6 billion euros for the stake.

KPN's board has urged shareholders to hold off on the unsolicited cash offer, saying that the deal substantially undervalues the Dutch operator.

The Dutch group did however did say last week it would "maintain an active dialogue with all shareholders, including America Movil."

Before launching its hostile bid, the Mexican telecoms operator already held 4.8 percent of the Dutch group.

In Tuesday's statement, it reminded shareholders that its offer at that price remained valid until 1530 GMT Wednesday with the maximum number of shares accepted representing the additional 4.3-percent stake it was seeking.

America Movil controls the mobile telephone market in Latin America with some 225 million clients in 18 countries at the end of 2010. In 2011, it posted the equivalent of 39 billion euros in revenues.

Dutch group KPN employs 31,000 people and recorded sales of 13.16 billion euros last year.

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