New York, May 9 (FinanceEnquiry.com) – Mexico’s 72-year-old billionaire Carlos Slim is planning to expand his reach to debt- ridden Europe by proposing to up his stake in Dutch telecom company KPN from the present 5 to 28 percent. The offer at 8 euros per share will entail costs of around $3.5 billion.
Slim’s principal cash cow, the fifth largest mobile network operator, America Movil (NYSE: AMX), divulged on Monday its plan to buy up to 28 percent of Dutch company KPN, to give the Mexican a launching pad for future expansion in Europe.
America Movil’s previous attempt to find a foot-hold in Europe in 2007 came a cropper as its bid for a stake in Telecom Italia was usurped by its Spanish rival Telefonica. Telefonica is also Slim’s biggest rival in his home country Mexico, where it commands about 22 percent of the mobile phone market.
Events in Europe, which also saw Francois Hollande oust Nicolas Sarkozy as French president on a platform of pushing growth and less austerity, and similar results in local polls in Germany and Italy, have led to heightened concerns about Europe’s debt crisis, sending the markets in a tizzy.
The 72-year-old billionaire carved out an empire extending from the United States to South America, building a fortune of more than $60 billion hugely benefiting from rapid economic growth in countries like Brazil.
Slim’s desire to explore new frontiers likely signals his keenness to find a way into Europe and score big when Europe emerges from the economic turmoil that has dogged it for nearly four years.
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