Report: AT&T Eyes European Expansion to Offset Slow Growth in the U.S.
January 17, 2013 9:30 AM
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Analysts are dubious of the AT&T purchase rumors
Reports have surfaced that AT&T is looking to make an acquisition in Europe. AT&T could possibly be considering the purchase of Dutch carrier KPN or UK carrier Everything Everywhere in an effort to offset slowing growth within the U.S. Word of a potential AT&T buyout of Dutch provider KPN sent shares in the Dutch wireless carrier up 3.8% to close at €4.40, a five-week high.
AT&T and KPN have made no official comment on rumors of a potential purchase.
Analyst Jos Versteeg from private Dutch bank Theodoor Gilissen says that companies like AT&T could benefit from buying European rivals to create economies of scale. The analyst says that this move would be similar to the international expansion of British carrier Vodafone. However, a large portion of KPN is owned by a Mexican billionaire named Carlos Slim.
"Slim owns almost 30 percent. I don't see him selling now. He is a long-term investor. AT&T doesn't stand a chance buying KPN," Versteeg said."
Another analyst, Robin Bienenstock from Bernstein, noted that AT&T and Carlos Slim's company America Movili had attempted to work together in a bid for Telecom Italia in the past. She notes that she sees little chance of AT&T making a takeover in Europe.
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1/18/2013 8:45:05 AM
Lower profit margin is still profit, AT&T could also get better deals on trans-Atlantic and other international communications than European carriers.
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