Timing key as Slim's Telekom Austria offer closes

jueves 10 de julio de 2014 06:26 GYT

* Share price hovering just below 7.15 euro offer

* No higher offers expected

* Writedown cast shadow over Telekom Austria prospects

By Angelika Gruber and Georgina Prodhan

VIENNA, July 10 (Reuters) - America Movil's move to boost its stake in Telekom Austria could be the best chance shareholders will have to extract value from the stock for some time, investors and analysts said ahead of Thursday's offer deadline.

A surprise 400 million euro ($546 million) writedown on Telekom Austria's Bulgarian business last month has cast a shadow over the company's short-term prospects, enhancing the merits of the 7.15 euro-per-share offer from the Mexican group controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim.

America Movil is offering up to $2 billion for the 45 percent of Telekom Austria not already owned by the Mexican company and the Austrian state, which have combined their stakes in a shareholder pact.

Telekom Austria shares have hovered just below 7.15 euros since Slim made his offer, which closes at 1500 GMT on Thursday, and there appears to be little chance of a subsequent higher offer to squeeze out minority shareholders in the medium term.

"Before the writedown, I said I, personally, would hold my shares, because I saw prospects for the company in the medium to long term. But now I'm thinking what to do," said Wilhelm Rasinger, president of Austrian retail investor association IVA.   Continuación...