Channel NewsAsia

Carlos Slim buys out AT&T's US$5.6b stake in America Movil

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim has bought out US telephone operator AT&T's US$5.6 billion stake in telecommunications firm America Movil, the companies announced Friday.

NEW YORK: Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim has bought out US telephone operator AT&T's US$5.6 billion stake in telecommunications firm America Movil, the companies announced Friday.

The acquisition of AT&T's shares in the company represent 8.27 per cent of America Movil's capital stock, according to a company statement.

"Upon consummation of the transaction authorized today by the board of directors, AT&T will no longer be a shareholder of America Movil," it added.

The transaction involved selling all of AT&T's 72,822,656 Series L shares of America Movil and its 5,739,341,928 Series AA shares of the company to Slim's holding company Inmobiliaria Carso.

AT&T had gradually reduced its stake in America Movil in recent years.

Last year, the American group sold more than 1.5 million shares.

The latest operation comes as AT&T seeks to acquire satellite television operator DirecTV for US$48.5 billion.

The tie-up announced in May would create a potent rival to cable TV giant Comcast, which, itself, hopes to expand its coverage with the pending takeover of Time Warner Cable.

DirecTV has about 20 million customers, making it the number-two pay-TV company in the United States. It also has more than 18 million customers in Latin America.

The sale to America Movil gives AT&T more liquidity to finance its purchase of DirecTV.

America Movil, also known by its stock symbol AMX, has focused on transactions in Europe.

In May, it offered to buy the 45 per cent of Telekom Austria not owned by America Movil or its partner, the Austrian government holding company OeIAG.

The pan-American wireless giant has also struck a deal to combine its 26.8 per cent stake in Telekom Austria with the 28.4 per cent held by OeIAG, giving it effective control.

Slim, one of the world's richest men, was forced to abandon in October a multibillion-euro hostile takeover bid for KPN, one of the largest fixed and mobile telecom operators in The Netherlands and the third-biggest in Germany and Belgium.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia