MEXICO CITY/VIENNA, July 17 (Reuters) - Mexico’s America Movil on Friday said its Telekom Austria unit did not need a capital increase, after a local newspaper reported that it might try to raise new funds.
“This company has sufficient equity today, I think, to manage its day-to-day operations adequately,” Chief Financial Officer Carlos Garcia Moreno said on a conference call. “I don’t think that it needs any more capital.”
Austrian daily Die Presse said earlier on Friday, without citing sources, that Telekom Austria could ask investors for 1.5 billion euros ($1.63 billion) in fresh funds as early as this fall to finance its day-to-day operations and to fund further expansion in Europe.
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil made a big bet on the European telecom market in 2012, with purchases of stakes in Telekom Austria and Dutch group KPN, but his track record in that sector so far has been mixed.
Slim, who has owned about 60 percent of Telekom Austria since last year, has said he wants to use it as a base for further expansion into Central and Eastern Europe.
He said in January that if there were opportunities for Austria Telekom to grow through acquisitions, a capital increase would also be considered.
America Movil fully supported a 1 billion euro capital increase conducted by Telekom Austria in November to reduce debt and invest in infrastructure.
$1 = 0.9218 euros Reporting by Kirsti Knolle and Christine Murray