GO
Loading...

UPDATE 1-Slim in talks with Austria on Telekom Austria pact

* America Movil says could start formal talks on syndicate

* Austrian government says open to partnership

* Telekom Austria shares up 2.3 pct

(Adds details, background, shares)

VIENNA, Feb 25 (Reuters) - An alliance between Carlos Slim and the Austrian government to control Telekom Austria moved closer as Slim said he wanted to start formal talks and Austria said it was interested.

"We are open for a close cooperation," Austrian Finance Minister Michael Spindelegger said on Tuesday, following a statement from Slim's America Movil that it had held discussions with Telekom Austria stakeholders.

Both America Movil and the Austrian OIAG state holding company, who hold 27 and 28 percent respectively of Austria's biggest telecoms operator, said talks had so far been informal and would not necessarily lead to the creation of a syndicate.

Telekom Austria shares rose 2.3 percent to 7.24 euros by 0907 GMT, and were the top gainers in the European telecoms index.

A pact would mean the two major shareholders had to vote in unison on major issues, allowing Austria to maintain its influence even if America Movil's stake overtook its own.

A deal would likely trigger a mandatory takeover offer by bringing the alliance's combined stake above the 30 percent threshold.

OIAG has said it was open to the idea of letting Slim build its stake as long as Austria kept a blocking minority of 25 percent plus one share.

Slim, who attempt to buy Dutch KPN was rebuffed last year, wants to bolster America Movil's financial position by investing outside its home region of Latin America, where it faces rising regulation and competition.

A spokesman for Telekom Austria, which is due to report fourth-quarter results on Wednesday, said the company could not comment on shareholder matters.

(Reporting by Angelika Gruber; Writing by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Mark Potter and Michael Shields)