MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - America Movil started its tender offers for Telmex Internacional and Carso Global Telecom, the leading Mexican cellphone company said on Tuesday, clearing the way for tycoon Carlos Slim to consolidate his telecommunications empire.
Slim already controls all three companies. Carso Global TELECOMA1.MX holds a majority stake in Mexico’s largest fixed-line telecommunications operator, Telmex TELMEXL.MX TMX.N.
Reacting to tougher regional competition, Slim introduced a plan in January to shift control of Telmex and regional group Telmex Internacional TELINTL.MX to his flagship company, America Movil (AMXL.MX) (AMX.N) .
America Movil Chief Financial Officer Carlos Garcia-Moreno told the Reuters Latin American Investment Summit last week that the tender offers could close as soon as early June.
The combined companies will be able to share infrastructure and offer customers more services, although America Movil has been reluctant to say how much money it might save by consolidating Slim’s regional phone operators.
The transaction could also lead to the combination of multiple services in packages at attractive prices outside Mexico. Slim is restricted from offering video in his home market due to competition concerns, although recent media reports suggest he could be given the go-ahead this year.
With the arrival of new technologies, media and telecommunications companies have expanded outside their core operations in recent years to remain relevant to customers.
As Latin American economies recover, Garcia-Moreno estimates the consolidated America Movil would have 300 million access lines by the end of 2011. That would put it far ahead of rival Telefonica (TEF.MC), which in December had 169 million fixed-line, wireless, Internet and TV connections across Latin America.
America Movil will give one of its “L” shares in exchange for every 2.0474 Carso Global Telecom shares tendered in the offer.
Shareholders from both companies will have from Tuesday through June 10 to tender their shares.
The company will give 0.373 of an “L” share for every Telmex Internacional share tendered. Stockholders in this case have the option of a cash payment of 11.66 pesos per share.
Shares in America Movil rose 0.29 percent to 31.51 pesos in morning trading, while Carso Global rose 0.14 percent to 63.70 pesos. Telint was down 0.17 percent at 11.78 pesos.
Reporting by Cyntia Barrera Diaz; Editing by Derek Caney