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Venezuela to take full control of CANTV telecommunications company by June 4

Venezuela to take full control of CANTV telecommunications company by June 4

Venezuela will buy a controlling 70 percent stake in its largest phone company, CANTV, before June 4, the country's top telecom official said Tuesday.
Venezuela also plans to buy up all the remaining American Depository Receipts in CA Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela.
"The intention is to delist CANTV from the New York Stock Exchange," Telecommunications Minister Jesse Chacon said.
Removing CANTV from the NYSE will also eliminate a key method Venezuelans have used to skirt currency exchange controls. Venezuelans often buy local CANTV shares and later convert them into ADRs that can be sold for U.S. dollars to bypass strict currency restrictions. Venezuelans also buy dollar-denominated bonds to skirt the currency controls.
The state is offering to pay US$2.12 (euro1.59) per share to shareholders of CANTV, equivalent to about US$14.85 (euro11.10) per ADRs traded on Wall Street.
The price offered for CANTV shares does not include a dividend that was approved at a recent shareholder meeting, which brings the total offer to US$2.55 (euro1.91) per share, the same amount offered by the government for a 28.5 percent stake owned by New York-based Verizon Communications Inc.
New York-traded CANTV shares closed up nearly 3.2 percent on Tuesday at US$14.42 (euro10.74).
On the Caracas Stock Exchange, CANTV ended the day up 0.8 percent at the equivalent of US$3.03 (euro2.26) per share. It had fallen more than 18 percent on Monday amid jitters over the government's tender offer, before trading of the stock was temporarily halted.
Other CANTV shareholders include Spain's Telefonica SA, which holds 6.9 percent. Workers hold 11.7 percent and the government 6.5 percent. The company, which was privatized in 1991, also has about 43,000 small shareholders.
Chacon also said the government will invest roughly US$500 million (euro372 million) and expand services over the next few years. The plan is for workers to hold a certain amount of the stock, and to sell other shares to investors in Venezuela.