Mexico reaches deal to buy highway concession from billionaire Slim

FILE PHOTO: Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim speaks as Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador looks on during an event in Mexico City
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

MONTERREY, Mexico (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that his government has reached an agreement with local billionaire Carlos Slim to buy the concession to part of a highway still under construction in the southern state of Oaxaca.

"I am very grateful to Carlos Slim because we have reached an agreement that the federal government is going to acquire the concession that was granted to him, and on very good terms," Lopez Obrador said in a speech in Oaxaca on Sunday, without giving any details as to the cost.

Slim oversees major firms such as telecommunications giant America Movil and Grupo Carso, a conglomerate. He sits on the board of directors of Ideal, which is wrapping up construction on the branch of the highway running from the towns of Mitla to Tehuantepec.

Representatives for Ideal and Mexico's transportation ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The highway track, part of a larger stretch running all the way to the city of Oaxaca, will be inaugurated on Aug. 31, Lopez Obrador said.

The president, who will leave office later this year, has made infrastructure projects in the historically poorer southern part of Mexico a cornerstone of his administration.

He made the announcement at an event to open another part of highway in the state of Oaxaca, where he has also recently launched a coast-to-coast passenger rail network.

(Reporting by Kylie Madry in Mexico City and Laura Gottesdiener in Monterrey; Editing by Paul Simao)