December 6, 2016 / 11:27 PM / 2 years ago

Slim, ICA team up on $3.5 bln Mexico airport terminal bid -sources

MEXICO CITY/MADRID, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim and construction firm ICA will bid jointly to build a $3.5 billion terminal for Mexico City’s new airport, and no longer face competition from Spanish rivals Ferrovial and Dragados, people familiar with the matter said.

Reuters reported in October that a consortium led by Carso Infraestructura y Construccion, part of Slim’s Grupo Carso, was in talks with ICA to bid on the futuristic building, the gem of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s $13 billion project.

Three people familiar with the talks said it was now official that Slim and ICA would join forces.

Ferrovial and Dragados, which Reuters in August reported were talking to ICA about bidding, have now pulled out of the running, three people familiar with the matter said.

Ferrovial won a lucrative 2010 contract to build a terminal at London’s Heathrow Airport.

The firm’s withdrawal would remove a major hurdle on the Mexican project for Slim, who in September bagged a stake in a $361 million contract to build a runway for the new airport.

Embattled ICA recently got out of a 2015 memorandum of understanding with Ferrovial to bid jointly, two sources said.

ICA in October won a $371 million deal to build a foundation for the terminal, and another contract would be a shot in the arm for the firm, which in 2015 began defaulting on interest payments as it struggled with slumping revenues and heavy debts.

The Carso-led group comprises Mexican firms Constructora Y Edificadora GIA+A (GIA), and Promotora y Desarrolladora Mexicana (Prodemex), the construction unit of Mexico’s Grupo Hermes, plus Slim’s majority-owned firm FCC and Spanish builder Acciona.

Each company will have an equal stake in the consortium, one source said. Bids are due on Wednesday.

Ferrovial, Prodemex and ICA declined to comment.

Dragados, a unit of ACS, Carso, Hermes and GIA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Two people familiar with the matter said Spanish builder OHL would also bid on the prestigious project.

Designed by British architect Norman Foster and Slim’s son-in-law Fernando Romero, the terminal building is slated to serve some 68 million passengers a year by the time it opens in 2020.

Four or five bids were expected for the terminal project, a person familiar with the matter said.

The tender comes weeks after Mexico awarded a multi-billion-dollar wholesale mobile network in a tender with only one qualifying bidder. ($1 = 20.3940 Mexican pesos) (Editing by Dave Graham and Leslie Adler)

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