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  HOME | Mexico

Slim Buys 60 Percent of U.S. Oil Services Firm’s Mexican Unit

MEXICO CITY – Grupo Carso, which is owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, said Monday it acquired 60 percent of the Mexico subsidiary of U.S.-based Bronco Drilling Co. for $30 million.

Carso said in a filing with Mexican securities regulators that it reached an agreement on Sept. 18 with Bronco Drilling Mexico, a firm involved in “the operation, leasing and maintenance of drilling rigs, and the repair of oil and gas wells in Mexico and Latin America.”

“In addition, Grupo Carso will acquire from Banco Inbursa,” which also belongs to Slim, “an option to buy 5.44 million shares of (parent company) Bronco Drilling Co.,” the filing said.

Carso owns construction company CICSA, manufacturing firms Condumex and Cigatam, and consumer products company Sanborns.

Slim is the third-richest person in the world, according to Forbes magazine, with a fortune estimated at $35 billion.

In addition to Carso, the businessman owns Telmex, America Movil, Ideal and Grupo Financiero Inbursa.

Slim’s energy industry holdings until now consisted mainly of Swecomex, a company that builds oil facilities, but he was not involved in oil services, such as drilling.

Congress approved controversial energy reforms in October 2008 intended to expand state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos’s exploration and production capabilities.

President Felipe Calderon’s administration wants to give Pemex, as the state-owned oil giant is known, the ability to reinvest in its business and make it easier for private investors to work with the company in non-strategic areas to improve profitability.

Pemex’s revenues totaled some $98.44 billion last year, but it posted a net loss of about $8.3 billion after paying taxes and royalties of some $57.2 billion. EFE
 

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