UPDATE 1-Grupo Mexico's Larrea leaves Televisa board to seek own TV network

viernes 19 de septiembre de 2014 17:33 GYT

(Adds details on TV auction, Grupo Mexico)

MEXICO CITY, Sept 19 (Reuters) - One of Mexico's richest men has resigned from broadcaster Televisa's board over a potential conflict of interest because he wants to acquire his own television network, the company said on Friday.

German Larrea, a reclusive tycoon who controls mining and infrastructure giant Grupo Mexico, aims to take part in the bidding for two new TV networks the government is creating, Televisa said.

The government is auctioning the networks to foment competition in a sector dominated by Emilio Azcarraga's Televisa and rival TV Azteca, which is controlled by Ricardo Salinas.

Grupo Mexico's image has taken a hit since a massive toxic spill in the northern state of Sonora in August led to threats that it could lose one of its biggest mining concessions.

It dodged that punishment last week but had to set aside $151 million for a cleanup fund.

A group of media barons is already vying for the networks. The winners are expected to be announced by June.

Mexican officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said those competing include the Vazquez family behind the sprawling, privately owned Grupo Angeles, whose interests include hotels, hospitals and the media company Grupo Imagen, home to one of Mexico's main daily newspapers, Excelsior.

Also in the running for the TV networks are media companies Grupo MAC and Grupo Radio Centro, as well as the owners of Mexican financial daily newspaper El Financiero, officials said. (Reporting by Veronica Gomez; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)