(Updates with Telekom Austria spokeswoman in fourth paragraph.)
Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Telekom Austria AG, Austria’s former phone monopoly, said a fund owned by tycoon Ronny Pecik acquired options to buy 5.4 percent of the company’s voting rights, sending the shares to the highest in almost two weeks.
Marathon Zwei Beteiligungs GmbH, a subsidiary of Pecik’s RPR Privatstiftung investment vehicle, held the call options as of Oct. 14 and can exercise them any time until June 18, Vienna- based Telekom Austria said in a statement today. RPR and its units already own 374,721 shares, equivalent to 0.08 percent, bringing the investor’s total shareholding to almost 5.5 percent, according to the statement.
Pecik and three other investors are targeting a 20 percent stake in Telekom Austria, Format magazine reported Sept. 9. The group would buy a 15 percent holding from Capital Research & Management Co., it said, without citing anyone. Telekom Austria has employed Bank of America Merrill Lynch to ward off a takeover attempt, according to an Oct. 3 report by WirtschaftsBlatt newspaper.
Elisabeth Mattes, a spokeswoman for Telekom Austria, said the company “welcomes any new investors.” Pecik didn’t immediately return voicemail messages from Bloomberg News seeking comment.
Telekom Austria rose as much as 2.3 percent to 8.44 euros, the highest intraday price since Oct. 5, and was up 1.6 percent at 2:39 p.m. in Vienna. That values the phone company, whose biggest shareholder is the Austrian state through Oesterreichische Industrieholding AG, at 3.7 billion euros ($5 billion).
--Editors: Tom Lavell, Jerrold Colten
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