UPDATE 1-Tycoon Slim retail arm plans listing, share sale abroad

Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:05pm EST

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By Cyntia Barrera

MEXICO CITY Jan 10 (Reuters) - Grupo Sanborns, the retail arm of tycoon Carlos Slim's conglomerate Grupo Carso , said on Thursday it plans to relist on the Mexican stock exchange and offer its shares to institutional buyers abroad.

Grupo Sanborns, which operates coffee shops and its name-sake restaurant and retail chain which offers clients anything from flashy ties to ornaments and flatscreen TVs, delisted from the Mexican stock exchange some years ago.

In 2010, the retailer flirted with the idea of opening a branch in Manhattan but the plan never panned out.

Sanborns did not detail in a release to the Mexican stock exchange the amount of the expected share offerings, which are still subject to approval by shareholders in an upcoming meeting.

Grupo Sanborns brought luxury store Saks Fifth Avenue to Mexico in 2007 and has opened a second store since. Slim, the world's richest man, is a top shareholder in Saks Inc.

Sanborns tracks its origin to a small drug store founded in downtown Mexico City in 1903 by young American brothers Walter and Frank Sanborn.

The small business added a soda fountain that quickly drew an eclectic crowd, from Mexican President Porfirio Diaz, who was fond of sundaes and banana splits, to Revolutionary leaders Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, who went in for hot cocoa.

The business, which keeps its logo of three owls atop a tree branch representing Frank Sanborn and his two children, was sold to Slim's Grupo Carso in 1985.

The chain is a stop for students on a budget who can easily hook up to its wi-fi network while drinking inexpensive coffee and office workers seeking an after-hours drink.

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