Carlos Slim

Carlos Slim’s telecoms empire may be being chopped down to size in Mexico but his influence in his home country looks anything but on the wane – indeed, it could be set for a brand new take-off in the shape of the Mexico City airport.

It’s all speculation so far but not only is Carso, one of the groups in Slim’s empire, reported to be interested in bidding for the expected $9bn project, but his son-in-law Fernando Romero, in partnership with Britain’s Norman Foster, is believed to have won a contract to design what will be President Enrique Peña Nieto’s crown jewel infrastructure project. Read more

Backed into a corner by tough new Mexican telecoms regulations, Carlos Slim’s América Móvil (AMX) has come out fighting.

Its plan to divest assets – probably unprofitable rural subscribers, as well as cellphone towers – is its opening gambit. Will it be enough?

The mettle of Mexico’s new independent telecoms regulator, the IFT, and its perpetually smiling president Gabriel Contreras, will now be put to the test.

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Carlos Slim, Mexico’s telecoms tycoon, is both highly strategic and highly pragmatic.

Already fuming over his country’s telecoms reform, which is set to force him to offer free interconnection under new asymmetric rules, he now faces a former friend – AT&T – turning competitor as it buys DirecTV. Read more

Carlos Slim’s foray into Europe is not so much a case of “once bitten, twice shy” as “try, try and try again”. Having failed last year to buy Dutch telecoms operator KPN, the Mexican tycoon has launched a takeover bid for Telekom Austria. Total cost to Slim’s América Móvil? Not including its current 27 per cent stake, about €2.1bn.

That includes the €1.4bn cost of buying the 45 per cent of Telekom Austria that is publicly traded. In addition, there will be América Móvil’s pro-rated €700m share of a subsequent capital increase, which will help shrink Telekom Austria’s chunky leverage (the group has almost €5bn of debt). Read more

Pemex refinery in Tula, Hidalog statePemex, Mexico’s state oil company, has strenuously denied a report in Spain’s ABC newspaper which had said it was looking to team up with Mexican telecoms billionaire Carlos Slim to buy 10 per cent of Spanish oil group Repsol (Pemex already has 9.3 per cent) – all as part of a strategy to oust Repsol chief Antonio Brufau. The report cited ‘unnamed sources’.

Both sides are denying the deal. But boy, there’s a lot of media chatter about Pemex, Repsol – and YPF.

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He’s Mexican and rich. He owns important stakes in telecoms and media operations. But his name is not Carlos Slim.

David Martínez is a studiously low-profile financier who is now spending $960m to add control of Telecom Argentina to his stable of investments, which includes a 40 per cent stake in Cablevision, the cable TV unit owned by Argentine media empire Clarín. Why? Let’s face it, many other business folk tend to give Argentina a wide berth. Read more

It takes a big man to admit when he’s wrong. And love him or hate him, you have to give props to Carlos Slim, the Mexican tycoon, for walking away from his proposed €7.2bn bid for KPN on Wednesday.

As beyondbrics has previously noted, the deal never made that much sense on paper. For starters, to finance the €2.40 per share offer, AMX would have risked having to cancel a share buyback and raise $4bn of debt financing. In addition, buying KPN would have meant swallowing €9.5bn of debt. Both moves would have put AMX’s cherished A2 Moody’s and A- Standard & Poor’s ratings at risk. Read more

Well, that didn’t take long.

Just 11 days after América Móvil (AMX) ended a shareholder agreement with KPN that capped its stake in the Dutch phone carrier at about 30 per cent, the Mexican group controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim made its move.

With a great thud of cash hitting the table, Slim’s AMX on Friday announced a €7.2bn bid for the 70 per cent of KPN it does not already own. Read more

A Mexican standoff? América Móvil (AMX), the Latin American telecoms giant, has ditched a shareholder pact with KPN. What happens next?

As the FT has reported, the ending of an uneasy truce between the shareholders – which had limited AMX’s stake in the Dutch telecoms group – opens the door to several possibilities, especially since AMX’s boss, Carlos Slim, is believed to be none too keen on the price at which KPN was planning to sell its German business. Read more

Carlos Slim’s almost €5bn investment in European telecoms is still underwater and, unfortunately for the Mexican tycoon, still seems to be sinking fast.

Indeed, this week’s €8.1bn cash and share offer by Telefónica to buy KPN’s German mobile unit arguably only dunks again the world’s sometimes-richest-man. Read more

Carlos Slim is always on the move: reviewing, restructuring and reinventing his companies.

His latest action in this direction came on Tuesday with his industrial conglomerate, Grupo Carso, exiting its investment in Philip Morris México (PMM). Carso agreed to sell its remaining 20 per cent stake for $700m to Philip Morris International (PMI), which becomes sole owner of PMM. Read more

Almost a year after America Movil, the largest telecom company in Latin America, made its first acquisition in the US prepaid cellphone market, when it bought Simple Mobile, the company has done it again.

On Monday, it announced the purchase of Start Wireless Group, another mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that will add 1.4m subscribers to TracFone Wireless, America Movil’s US subsidiary. Read more

Almost like Pavlov’s dogs, journalists and business commentators covering Carlos Slim only have to mention the name before they find themselves following it with the phrase “the world’s richest man”. But as of this week, the Slim watchers out there are going to have to resist their conditioned response.

On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that the Mexican telecoms tycoon had been toppled from the number-one spot on the news agency’s all-time rich list. And guess who’s back in front….yep, it’s Bill Gates. Read more

It’s not quite a done deal yet. But it’s getting there.

Mexico’s Congress on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly in support of a sweeping reform bill that could break open the country’s telecommunications and broadcasting sectors and introduce more competition in the two tightly-held markets.

But while the Senate voted 108-3 to approve the bill (which has already been passed by the lower house), a number of constitutional changes included in the reform package still need to be approved by two-thirds of Mexico’s 31 state legislatures before it can become law. Read more

Just when the gloom seemed to be getting too much for Homex, the leading homebuilder in Mexico by revenues, there was light: the company’s shares and bonds rocketed on Friday after it announced a deal to sell a chunk of its prisons business for 4bn pesos ($326m).

And guess who bought it…telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim. Read more