KPN NV declined to comment on a media report that said private investors including EQT of Sweden were preparing an attempt to buy the top Dutch telecoms provider. When Telecom review reached out to KPN CEO Joost Farwerck he refused comment.

A KPN spokeswoman said the company would not comment on “rumors”. EQT declined to comment.

Sources have told the Wall Street Journal that KPN could soon be facing a bid valued at around €12.6 billion from private equity firms EQT and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners. According to the report, the firms are conducting their due diligence with the goal of presenting a formal offer in the near future.

EQT was named in stories by Reuters and Bloomberg in 2020 as weighing a bid for KPN, whose shares were up 1.6% to 2.92 euros by 0721 GMT on Thursday.

KPN has indicated it does not wish to be bought and has a poison pill mechanism in place to thwart unwanted takeovers, whereby an independent panel can issue new shares, as it did to block a takeover attempt in 2013.

Its networks were identified as infrastructure critical to national safety under a law that went into force in October 2020 giving the government the right to veto a takeover.

The company entered a joint venture with pension fund giant ABP to build fiber optic networks last month and owns some fiber optic networks in southern Netherlands and Belgium.

America Movil AMXL.MX recently announced the launch of a 2.2-billion-euro ($2.68 billion) bond loan which can be exchanged into shares of Dutch telecom company KPN KPN.AS.

The offering of three-year bonds will initially comprise of 672.4 million KPN shares, a document related to the offer showed.

America Movil has a 20.2% stake in KPN, data from Dutch financial markets regulator AFM showed. They tried to buy KPN in a failed attempt a few years back.

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