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Billionaire Slim in $566 Million Spanish Property Deal

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Dec. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Carlos Slim spent 428.2 million euros ($566 million) to acquire Spanish real estate owned by business partner CaixaBank.

Slim’s holding company, Inmobiliaria Carso SA, bought 439 properties, which house CaixaBank’s branches, the Barcelona-based financial-services company said today in a statement. The bank will lease the spaces from Slim, it said.

The world’s richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is continuing to invest in European assets after a regional credit crisis drove down prices. Through his America Movil SAB, Slim has also acquired stakes this year in Dutch phone carrier Royal KPN NV and in Telekom Austria AG, bets that have yet to pay off as their stock prices have plummeted.

In Spain, Slim acquired a 3.2 percent stake in newspaper publisher Promotora de Informaciones SA last year, also through Inmobiliaria Carso. The holding company had 0.2 percent of CaixaBank’s shares as of August 2011, when it made its most recent disclosure.

CaixaBank continues to hold a 20 percent stake in Slim’s Mexican financial-services company, Grupo Financiero Inbursa SAB. The Spanish company made the investment in 2008.

CaixaBank expects to record a pretax gain of 200 million euros from the real-estate transaction, it said. Its shares rose 1 percent to 2.65 euros at 5:11 p.m. in Madrid.

Arturo Elias, a spokesman for Slim, didn’t immediately return a phone message.

To contact the reporter on this story: Crayton Harrison in Mexico City at tharrison5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net

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