Bloomberg News

KPN Voting Rights Held by Capital Research & Management Drop

June 26, 2012

Capital Research & Management Co. said its voting rights in Dutch phone company Royal KPN NV (KPN) fell on the same day that America Movil SAB (AMXL), Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s wireless carrier, reported an increased stake.

Capital Research & Management, a U.S. investment manager that advises Capital Group Companies Inc.’s American Funds, reported its voting rights were 6.79 percent on June 21, down from 15.11 percent on Jan. 1. America Movil made a 2.6 billion- euro ($3.3 billion) offer for as much as 27.7 percent in KPN as it seeks to expand in Europe. The offer expires June 27.

“It appears logical that Capital Group funds sold KPN shares to America Movil,” Jos Versteeg, an Amsterdam-based analyst at Theodoor Gilissen Bankiers NV, said by telephone. “Capital Research & Management probably also saw that the stock won’t have a lot of upside potential in the coming period as Slim usually pursues investments, even if they may hurt dividend payments,” said Versteeg, who has a hold recommendation on KPN.

America Movil, based in Mexico City, disclosed a 21 percent stake in KPN, the former phone monopoly in the Netherlands, on June 21, up from 8.7 percent previously. Los Angeles-based Capital Research & Management held 97.15 million voting rights in The Hague-based KPN as of June 21, according to a filing on Dutch financial-markets regulator AFM’s website.

KPN shares rose 3.7 percent to 7.5 euros at the close of trading in Amsterdam, making it the biggest gainer on the 25-company benchmark AEX Index and valuing the company at 10.7 billion euros.

KPN said June 20 that it ended talks on a combination of its German business with a competitor, a deal the company had sought to convince shareholders would provide greater value than Slim’s offer of 8 euros a share. The Dutch phone company will start the sale of its Belgian mobile-phone division next month.

“We’ve taken notice of” the filing, Maryse Ducheine, a KPN spokeswoman, said by telephone today, declining to comment further. Robin Turner, a spokesman for Capital Group Cos. in London, and a representative for America Movil declined to comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Martijn van der Starre at vanderstarre@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mariajose Vera at mvera1@bloomberg.net


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