Spanish construction giant FCC gets stronger footing in LatAm

Business magnate Carlos Slim is keen to get his investment on Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC), a Spanish construction firm based in Barcelona that is to initiate operations in LatAm.

A year ago Slim became a stock owner in FCC, which was perceived to be a complement to his own venture into construction with his firm, Carso. Now, the FCC and Carso conglomerate have achieved their first contract in the region: the construction of a 630 kilometer, $250 million, natural gas pipeline in the north of Mexico due for 2017.

Since he first became a stock owner in FCC, Slim has been buying deeper into the company, and is now a majority investor. His recent ownership has been backed by Esther Koplowitz, the firm’s heir and president. Slim promised to also use his influence in the region to push for advantageous contracts.

Slim’s ambition to go into energy infrastructure is no coincidence. Mexico’s economy is currently suffering due to lacking or outdated infrastructure in the gas and oil sectors. FCC comes into play looking to fill this void, and profit from the 2013 energy reform, which seeks to expand the prevalence of the energy industry.

FCC had carried out smaller projects in LatAm, such as the construction of the control tower at El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá, Colombia, which in contrast to their most recent project, cost only $50 million. They also were able to get the permit for the construction of the second subway line to be built in Panamá.

Their eyes are now set on a more ambitious goal, the construction of the new landing strips in Mexico City’s New Airport, Enrique Peña Nieto’s central infrastructure endeavor.

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