KPN Foundation to give up shares in Royal KPN post-Slim bid

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Nov 11, 2013 06:19 AM EST

According to Bloomberg, an independent foundation which owned a significant interest in Royal KPN NV had planned to sell them. The same foundation had blocked America Movil SAB to pursue control over the Dutch phone company. The Mexican company is owned by billionaire investor Carlos Slim.

The foundation said, "The board of the foundation is of the opinion that there is now no reason to defer a decision to effect the redemption of the class B preference shares."

The entity was created for the sole purpose of protecting the interest of shareholders of KPN. Formed in 1994, it was a by-product of the Dutch government's exit from KPN by selling its shares. Members of the board included Chairman Jacques Schraven, Vice Chairman Pieter Bouw, and board directors Jan Klaassen, Peter Wakkie and Hans Zwarts.

The KPN foundation exercised its right to acquire the preferred stock of the Dutch company in August. This to prevent America Movil in obtaining a controlling interest in KPN. Slim's company extended a EUR2.40 per share offer. The foundation deemed the offer undervalued and declared that America Movil's move was hostile. Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp also deemed the buyout offer as a threat to national security. These block had budged America Movil from its buyer position and withdrew its almost EUR7.2 billion or USD9.6 billion offer. Slim's company still owned 30% of KPN.

In its statement, the KPN foundation said it had submitted a request for a shareholder meeting to decide whether it should redeem 4.26 billion of preference shares.

KPN saw its shares increase to a total of 9.9% this year. Its shares closed at EUR2.48 per share on the Amsterdam bourse. KPN has a current market value of EUR10.6 billion.

Carlos Slim, on the other hand, had moved on. He recently led a USD60 million investment round for Instagram rival Mobli.

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