(MENAFN - AFP) America Movil of Mexico warned on Friday that it could abandon a huge bid for Dutch KPN after a last-minute move to block the takeover overseen by the world's richest man Carlos Slim.
The multi-billion-euro bid seemed on course to give Slim's company a firm foothold in the European market, but late on Thursday an independent foundation linked to KPN announced it was trying to block the deal.
Foundation Preference Shares B KPN said it had exercised a call option to acquire preference shares which would give it about 50 percent of voting and issued shares and enable it to block the offer.
In a strongly-worded statement on Friday, America Movil warned that "in the event that the Foundation maintains its current position and seeks to prevent the offer from proceeding ... America Movil is prepared to withdraw its offer."
It added however that it remained committed to the deal saying as a "long-term investor we believe we can help KPN focus more on its infrastructure investments for the benefit of its customers, its employers and its stakeholders."
America Movil already has a 29.77-percent stake in the Dutch telecoms company after launching a hostile partial take-over in the summer of 2012.
Slim's company announced on August 9 its intention to make a public offer for the rest of the shares in KPN, valuing the Dutch company at 10.2 billion euros (13.6 billion).
The foundation said it considered the offer a hostile takeover bid because America Movil had not consulted, and attempted to negotiate a merger protocol, with KPN prior to making its bid.
But America Movil denied the allegation, saying its announcement followed consultations with the company.
"As recently as this week we had substantive discussions with KPN to progress the draft Relationship Agreement," America Movil said.
Analysts have said that America Movil's bid for KPN could signal the start of consolidation in the fragmented and highly competitive European market.