UPDATE 1-Spain's FCC to raise 710 million euros to cut debt
* Capital increase could pave way for bid by Slim
* Core shareholders will subscribe increase
* Aim is to pay down debt, strengthen balance sheet (Adds details on capital increase, background)
By Adrian Croft and Julien Toyer
MADRID, Dec 17 (Reuters) - The board of Spain's FCC approved a 709.5 million euro ($766.6 million) capital increase on Thursday, the company said, in a move that may pave the way for Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim to take control of the firm.
The proceeds will be used to pay down debt and to strengthen the balance sheet of the debt-laden construction and services company, which has struggled to reshape its business as Spain emerges from a punishing economic downturn that caused a construction slump and hit infrastructure spending.
FCC's shares have fallen more than 50 percent this year.
FCC said it would issue 118.3 million new shares priced at 6 euros per share, above Thursday's closing price of 5.564 euros.
The core shareholders, Esther Koplowitz and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's holding company Inversora Carso group , have pledged to fully subscribe their share of the capital increase and Inversora Carso has committed to buy any unsubscribed shares, FCC said in a statement. Continuación...