May 29, 2012 / 4:02 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 2-Mexico's Slim sticks to offer in raid on KPN

* America Movil maintains offer of 8 euros/share

* Bid marks Slim’s first move for stronghold in Europe

* Analysts don’t expect Slim to sweeten deal (Adds background, details, analysts’ quotes)

By Cyntia Barrera and Leila Abboud

MEXICO CITY/PARIS, May 29 (Reuters) - Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim stuck to his bid of 8 euros per share for a bigger stake in Dutch telecom firm KPN on Tuesday, his first move for a stronghold in Europe.

Slim’s cell phone giant America Movil, which has little left to buy in Latin America, said it could pay around $3.25 billion for the 325 million KPN shares it wants to buy from current stockholders.

The Mexican firm already holds a 4.8 percent stake in KPN . The official tender offer seeks to boost America Movil’s stake in the Dutch firm to no more than 27.7 percent.

Dutch financial regulations stipulate that anyone with 30 percent of voting rights in a company must make a formal takeover bid for all remaining shares.

KPN shares, which have declined 35 percent in the past year, closed at 7.59 euros on Tuesday.

The company, which has said Slim’s offer undervalues its assets, has hired JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs to advise it on its strategic options.

A KPN spokesman said that the group was studying the offer and did not have any further comment.

Slim has been looking to Europe to expand his communications empire. In addition to the bid for KPN, he is also reportedly looking at Telekom Austria. America Movil operates from the United States to Argentina and over the past two years has looked at buying telecoms operations in Serbia and Poland.

If successful, the deal could give America Movil seats on KPN’s supervisory board.

KPN TROUBLES

The Dutch telecom has been grappling with tough competition in its home market and a lack of scale in its foreign markets.

The company, which has a 45 percent market share in the Netherlands in fixed line and mobile, has been hit by a string of problems under Chief Executive Eelco Blok, who has faced criticism from analysts, regulators, politicians and the public.

Nick Brown, an analyst at Espirito Santo, echoing the opinion of someone close to the situation, said he wasn’t surprised that America Movil had not raised its price.

“They believe it’s a reasonable offer at 24 percent premium to the KPN price before the announcement. There is nothing KPN can do to stop shareholders from accepting it, although it can try to convince them that selling off the Belgium and Germany businesses would be worth more.”

America Movil’s offer will be good from Wednesday through June 27 and could be extended, the company said. (Reporting By Cyntia Barrera Diaz, additional reporting by Leila Abboud and Arno Schuetze; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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