VIENNA, May 18 (Reuters) - Mexico’s Carlos Slim is eyeing a stake in Telekom Austria and is believed to have held initial talks with its two biggest investor groups, Austrian magazine Format reported, without citing sources.
It said Slim had been in touch with Ronny Pecik - who with partner Naguib Sawiris has built a 20 percent stake in Telekom Austria - and Austrian state holding company OeIAG, Telekom Austria’s biggest shareholder with a 28.4 percent stake.
The report - the second to mention Slim as a potential white-knight investor for Telekom Austria - could not be confirmed independently.
America Movil, the telecommunications company owned by Slim, is on the lookout for foreign deals.
Fresh from offering around $3.5 billion for a bigger stake in Dutch telecoms company KPN NV, America Movil’s U.S. unit has targeted Simple Mobile, a mobile virtual network operator.
Pecik and Sawiris may end up holding their stake in Telekom Austria for up to two years before selling to a strategic investor, Format reported, citing unidentified sources.
It said the two still planned to boost their stake to a blocking minority of 25 percent plus one share, but would do so via market purchases rather than options they secured late last year that are now out of the money.
Pecik has repeatedly declined to comment on his plans, which will be in the spotlight next week when the duo will seek seats on the company’s expanded supervisory board.
Format said Norway’s Telenor was still the main suitor for a stake in Telekom Austria and wanted to negotiate with Egyptian tycoon Sawiris on this. (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Erica Billingham)