Carlos Slim

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. Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

Lots of long faces among Colombian media executives – and doubtless other Latin American media executives too – about Carlos Slim’s latest move.

Late last month, the Mexican telecoms tycoon snapped up exclusive Latin American broadcast rights for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. In doing so, his telecoms company, América Movíl, has effectively cornered the market for sports content in a sports-crazy continent (bar Brazil, where media empire Globo bought the Olympic rights). Continue reading »

At what point do América Móvil shares start to look cheap? Investors have several ways of deciding the true value of the company controlled by Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man. But more than a few are doubtless mulling the question this week after shares in the pan-American telecoms company plunged 9.3 per cent since Monday morning. Continue reading »

Exciting times in Mexico. Enrique Peña Nieto is the first Mexican president since Carlos Salinas de Gortari, a quarter of a century ago, to seize the reins of power with both hands. And on Monday he announced his most recent assault on the often shadowy special interests that are seen as resistant to any attempts to overturn decades of misfiring in the Mexican economy.

Having celebrated at the weekend his first 100 days in power with a claim that “I’m here to transform the country, not simply run it”, on Monday Peña Nieto unveiled a plan to reform telecommunications, a sector long criticized as being dominated by the three “titans” of the industry. Continue reading »

It is not often in the world of Carlos Slim that things go wrong. The Mexican businessman and the world’s richest man has built his huge fortune on astute decisions, calculated risk-taking and, above all, impeccable timing.

So it is hardly surprising that comments started flying on Wednesday when the share price of América Móvil tanked. The stock ended the day’s trading at 14.16 pesos in Mexico City, a loss of more than 10 per cent and the steepest one-day fall in at least four years. Continue reading »