Carlos Slim threatened Friday to walk away from his 7.2 billion euro ($9.5 billion) offer to buy the 70 percent of Dutch telecom Royal KPN he doesn't already own after a foundation linked to the company mounted a "poison pill" defense.
The KPN Foundation is a body peculiar to the Netherlands formed to defend the rights of not only shareholders, but also workers and customers. Late Thursday it said it viewed Slim's bid of 2.4 euros per share as hostile and exercised its right to issue temporary preference shares worth 49.9 percent of voting rights in KPN — effectively blocking Slim's bid.
On Friday, the Mexican billionaire's company, America Movil responded in a statement that its plans will benefit KPN and it could withdraw its bid if the foundation persists.
If the foundation "maintains its current position and seeks to prevent the offer from proceeding — to the detriment of KPN's customers, employees and shareholders, and also to the detriment of telecommunication services in the Netherlands, all of whom America Movil firmly believes will benefit from the offer — America Movil is prepared to withdraw its offer," it said.
KPN shares fell 5.6 percent to 2.16 euros in early Amsterdam trading.
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