Grupo Mexico Ups Stake In Airport Operator GAP

October 3, 2011

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Copper mining giant Grupo Mexico raised its stake in Mexican airport operator GAP to more than a quarter, falling short of the 30 percent that would trigger a public offering.

Grupo Mexico now holds 25.7 percent of the airport company, Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

GAP shares are divided into B series, available on the market, and BB shares -- 15 percent of the company --- that are only held by controlling partners and not publicly traded.

With the new purchases, Grupo Mexico holds 30.2 percent of the B shares and a smaller percentage of the entire company, the filing said.

Already operating mines in Mexico, Peru and the United States, Grupo Mexico wants to expand its transport business and since 2009 has steadily been buying GAP shares.

Grupo Mexico said in June it wanted to buy more than 30 percent of GAP, pending regulatory approval, triggering a law obligating Grupo Mexico to bid for the entire company.

That flies in the face of GAP's internal bylaws that say no non-controlling shareholder can have a stake bigger than 10 percent. Grupo Mexico sued GAP to change those rules and GAP shot back with an appeal to stop the takeover, potentially tying up the process for months.

(Reuters)