Telekom Austria investor Pecik happy to stay put
Telekom Austria AG shareholder Ronny Pecik won a supervisory board seat after declaring he was content with his 21 percent stake and insisting he was a loyal investor rather than the "locust" that media make him out to be.
Pecik dismissed reports he was keen to build up and flip the stake he built with ally Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris, who dropped out of the running for his own board seat at the last minute on Wednesday.
Speculation has focused on Norways Telenor and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim as potential buyers of the stake in Telekom Austria, which has around 23 million customers in eight countries in central and eastern Europe.
"You see me as an incredible patriot. Thats what I am," Pecik told fellow shareholders, tracing his career from the son of Croatian guest workers to wealth and power as an Austrian entrepreneur who has left his mark on half a dozen companies.
"The media like to see me as a locust. I would prefer to be a butterfly. That is more colourful," he said.
Some shareholders asked sceptical questions about what Pecik planned for the company, but the meeting elected him to an extra seat on the supervisory board with over 73 percent in favour.
Pecik, 50, said Sawiris had pulled his candidacy for a board seat because his business acumen was sorely needed in Egypt as the country elects a new president and adopts sweeping reforms.
Asked whether Sawiris would seek later to join the board, Pecik said: "He has to decide. His country needs him."
He rejected speculation that the abrupt turn of events reflected a falling out between the partners who have spent 800 million euros (
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