Carlos Slim's FCC offers to buy 24% stake in Metrovacesa

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Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim speaks during the presentation of the Spanish building and services group FCC strategy plan in Madrid, Spain, July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Susana Vera

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MADRID, March 23 (Reuters) - Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's Spanish construction firm FCC (FCC.MC) on Wednesday launched a tender offer for a 24% stake in real estate developer Metrovacesa (MVC.MC), a FCC filing to the local stock market regulator showed.

Through the purchase, worth 284 million euros ($312.29 million), FCC would raise its stake in Metrovacesa which stands at 5.4% currently. The real estate firm is largely owned by Spanish banks Santander (SAN.MC) and BBVA (BBVA.MC).

Slim, whose net worth has been estimated at $62 billion by Forbes magazine, has been betting on Spanish real estate and infrastructure after the financial crisis brought both industries to their knees.

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Through his holding company Inversora de Carso, the billionaire also controls real estate developer Realia (RLIA.MC).

Metrovacesa shares jumped 16% on Wednesday morning to 7.51 euros, just below the 7.8 euros offered by FCC.

The offer price represents a 20% premium over Tuesday's closing price, Spanish lender Bankinter said in a note to clients. Shares in Metrovacesa's rivals may also rise on Slim's move, Bankinter added.

Santander and BBVA, which together own about 70% of Metrovacesa according to Refinitiv Eikon data, are unlikely to sell at 7.8 euros, JBCapital analyst David Gandoy said in a report.

"Consequently, we see this partial bid as a financial investment aimed at taking advantage of the current market conditions," he added.

"As we always do, we will analyse the offer and decide what is best for our shareholders," a BBVA spokesperson said, adding the offer price was in line with the valuation on the bank's books.

Santander declined to comment.

($1 = 0.9094 euros)

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Reporting by Corina Pons and Jesus Aguado, editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely

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