Carlos Slim, Other Shareholder Plan $670 Million Capital Boost for Austrian Cable Group

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Carlos Slim

Telekom Austria will earmark the cash for expansion plans, including via an upcoming auction of high-speed mobile frequencies.

BERLIN – Telekom Austria, the European cable group, in which Carlos Slim's Mexican telecom giant America Movil holds a 24 percent stake, is planning to issue new stock worth around $670 million (€500 million) to fund a planned expansion into mobile networks, according to reports.

A story in Austrian daily Der Standard said both America Movil and state-owned holding group OIAG, Telekom Austria's largest shareholder, would support the move, buying up sufficient new shares to maintain their respective stakes in the company. OIAG holds a 28.4 percent stake.

Telekom Austria declined to comment, but the cable company is believed to have ambitious expansion plans. It is expected to be among the frontrunners next month when the Austrian government auctions off the country's LTE high-speed mobile frequencies. Analysts forecast Telekom Austria will spend around $400 million (€300 million) buying up some of the blocks of LTE frequencies the government plans to auction off.

The frequencies are key to plans by the former state-run group to expand into mobile services. Across Europe, cable companies, Internet providers and mobile companies are increasingly fighting over the same territory and for the same customers, offering all-in-one packages of Internet, digital TV, landline and mobile services.

That development was also the main driver behind the recent bid by mobile giant Vodafone to take over leading German cable TV provider Kabel Deutschland.

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