Date
23 September 2017
Carlos Slim, the world's second-richest man, is betting on a turnaround in Spain's construction sector. Photo: Bloomberg
Carlos Slim, the world's second-richest man, is betting on a turnaround in Spain's construction sector. Photo: Bloomberg

Slim to be biggest investor in Spain’s FCC, joining Gates, Soros

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim will become the biggest shareholder in Spain’s FCC, the Financial Times reported Friday.

Slim is buying the rights of Esther Koplowitz – the largest shareholder before the deal – to purchase shares in a €1 billion capital-raising exercise the heavily indebted Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas is undertaking to reduce its debt.

The Mexican telecommunications tycoon, the second-richest man in the world, according to Forbes, is spending up to €700m to acquire a 25.6 per cent stake in the construction firm. 

The construction sector flourished during Spain’s decade-long property boom but has been weighed down by debt since the country’s financial crisis.

FCC, which also has interests in infrastructure and energy, is undergoing a restructuring that in which jobs are being cut and assets sold.

The company, which has a market value of about €2 billion, has attracted interest from other well-known billionaires. Late last year, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and legendary hedge fund manager George Soros invested in the company.

“This capital increase and the agreement with Carlos Slim clarifies the future of the company,” the Financial Times quoted Juan Moreno, an analyst at Ahorro Corporación, as saying. “It’s a big turning point for FCC.

“These investors are showing so much interest because they expect a very significant recovery.”

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