Slim slicing cable stake

Shares to be offered in April; sale expected to bring in $600 mil

MEXICO CITY — Tycoon Carlos Slim is planning to sell half his 49% stake in Cablevision. Shares are expected to be offered in stock markets including New York and Mexico City in the second half of April. Slim is hoping to raise around $600 million.

The billionaire controls Mexico’s dominant telephony provider Telmex, which formally owns the 49% stake in Cablevison. Competition rules prevent him having a majority stake in both companies. Televisa owns the other 51% of the local cabler, which currently covers much of Mexico City but is to expand coverage to include other Mexican cities.

Cablevision has more than 450,000 subscribers and will be used by Televisa to offer fast Internet connections. The move follows the alliance of Slim, reputed to be Latin America’s richest man, and Bill Gates, announced on Tuesday, to launch T1msn, an Internet portal aimed at Latin America and Latinos in the U.S.

“Basically, I think Slim feels that if he cannot aspire to a majority share, then he has no interest in Cablevision,” Rogelio Urrutia, of Banco Santander, said.

Last month, Televisa unveiled its own portal, esmas.com, targeting the same market. Many had expected the web to join forces with Slim and Microsoft rather than embark on a potentially damaging rival effort.

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