UPDATE 5-Slim eyes eastern Europe after Telekom Austria deal
* America Movil takes operational control of Telekom Austria
* Sees Austria as base to increase European business
* Will invest 1 billion euros via rights issue (Adds comment from biographer, analyst, background on Europe)
By Georgina Prodhan and Christine Murray
VIENNA/MEXICO CITY April 24 (Reuters) - Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim plans to use Telekom Austria as a base to build up his presence in European telecoms after sealing a deal with the Austrian state to take control of the company.
Slim's America Movil will invest up to 1 billion euros ($1.38 billion) in Telekom Austria via a rights issue, on top of spending as much as $2 billion to buy out minority shareholders in a mandatory public offer.
The deal represented the first successful acquisition for Slim in Europe, where he has invested more than $4 billion in the past two years, building stakes in Telekom Austria and Dutch KPN, which subsequently rejected a full takeover offer.
Controlled by one of the world's richest people, America Movil said it would spend the money from the rights issue on acquisitions in new markets, infrastructure, research and development, new products and services.
America Movil's Chief Financial Officer Carlos Garcia Moreno said the company began looking for opportunities in other regions two or three years ago and saw Telekom Austria as a platform for expansion into central and eastern Europe (CEE). Continuación...