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KPN, America Movil talk about bid, say result unclear

The logo of America Movil is seen on the wall of the reception area in the company's corporate offices in Mexico City February 13, 2013. REU
The logo of America Movil is seen on the wall of the reception area in the company's corporate offices in Mexico City February 13, 2013. REU

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Dutch telecoms company KPN has entered into talks with Mexico's America Movil over the latter's 7.2 billion-euro ($9.6 billion) takeover offer, the two sides said on Thursday, although both cautioned that the outcome was unclear.

KPN said in a statement that its management and supervisory boards were discussing with America Movil the price and conditions of the Mexican group's bid to buy the shares in KPN it does not already own.

America Movil, controlled by billionaire industrialist Carlos Slim, confirmed the talks but also said it was committed to its planned 2.40 euros per share offer and that it could yet withdraw it.

KPN's shares were trading up 1 percent at 2.26 euros at 0933 GMT (4:33 EDT), when the STOXX 600 Europe telecoms sector index <.SXTP> was down 0.5 percent.

ING analyst Emmanuel Carlier described the talks as a step in the right direction, while Nomura's Frederic Boulan said the talks showed there was still commitment to do a deal.

"We are not there yet, but I think that in the end, if KPN is happy to recommend the deal with a slightly better offer price, America Movil might be willing to make an effort," he said.

KPN said its boards were obliged to conduct talks after the unsolicited bid.

Jos Streppel, supervisory board chairman, said KPN was carefully considering the interests of shareholders, employees, customers and other stakeholders, on financial and non-financial matters, including the role of KPN as a public service provider.

"We understand there are many questions about the intended offer. We believe, however, it is important to conduct these discussions in confidence, and expect to provide more clarity at a later stage," Streppel said.

America Movil, which is seeking to expand beyond its core markets in Latin America, has not yet published a formal offer document.

America Movil sprang into action when KPN said it was selling its German mobile unit E-Plus to Spain's Telefonica , a rival of America Movil in Latin America.

Telefonica subsequently raised its bid for E-Plus, winning America Movil's support.

America Movil owned nearly 30 percent of KPN until a foundation set up when the former Dutch state monopoly was privatized, exercised an option to give itself about 50 percent of KPN's voting stock at the end of last month and called on management to negotiate with Slim's company.

America Movil has said since that it has no intention of raising its bid.

It said on Thursday that it was considering all options, including withdrawing its planned offer.

(Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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