Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim has agreed to buy out AT&T’s roughly $5.9 billion stake in his telecom company, America Movil, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The deal keeps shares in Mexico City-based America Movil (AMOV), one of the world’s largest mobile network operators, from being diluted by AT&T selling its 8.3% stake on the open market. AT&T has been a strong ally of Slim’s for years, but the U.S. carrier’s $48.5 billion planned acquisition of DirecTV would have put it in direct competition with America Movil’s Latin American television operations.
When AT&T (T) announced its deal for DirecTV in May the company said it would unload its America Movil stake and withdraw its members from the Mexican company’s board. AT&T’s stake also included nearly 24% of the company’s voting shares.
The filing from America Movil does not give the exact purchase price that Slim’s holding company, Inmobiliaria Carso, will pay for a stake that is worth about $5.9 billion based on the company’s market cap.
America Movil’s stock was up almost 6% shortly after news of the deal broke Friday afternoon. The company’s shares had fallen as much as 15% this year as Mexican regulators pushed to increase competition in the communications industry, a move that is expected to cut into America Movil’s profits down the road. The company said Wednesday that it has formed a committee to evaluate its strategic options in the face of new laws penalizing companies that control too much of the market.