January 21, 2013 / 5:30 PM / in 5 years

America Movil to acquire unit of Mexico's CIE

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - America Movil (AMXL.MX), the telecom giant controlled by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, announced a deal that will boost his access to Mexico’s advertising market even as local regulators block Slim from offering pay television services.

Slim’s America Movil generates hefty advertising revenue from its dominant TV business outside of Mexico but it has been denied access to the local broadcast market because of competition concerns.

The deal with Mexican entertainment company CIE will give Slim an advertising unit valued at 1,668 million Mexican pesos ($131.65 million), CIE said. Neither company disclosed the terms of the deal.

The acquisition hands the telecom giant advertising slots on screens in cinemas and convenience stores, space in airports and on pedestrian bridges and advertising rights with sports teams and stadiums in Mexico.

Sports fan Slim made his first foray into soccer ownership last year when America Movil acquired a 30 percent stake in two soccer clubs in Mexico’s first division.

The deal with CIE is slated for completion in the second quarter, subject to regulatory approvals.

CIE, which runs concerts, sports events and trade shows among other things, said it will use proceeds from the sale for working capital and to pay down debt.

America Movil shares were down slightly at 15.55 pesos in local market trading while CIE shares were unchanged from Friday’s close at 8.55 pesos.

Mexico’s new president Enrique Pena Nieto has pledged to increase competition in the telecommunications sector where Slim dominates fixed and mobile phone lines and broadcasters Televisa (TLVACPO.MX) and TV Azteca (AZTECACPO.MX) have a tight hold on the television market.

($1 = 12.6695 Mexican pesos)

Additional reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Leslie Adler and Chizu Nomiyama

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