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Grupo Mexico Considering Shale Ventures on Energy Reform

Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Grupo Mexico SAB, Mexico’s largest mining company, is considering joint ventures to take advantage of new legislation that allows foreign investment in the oil and gas industry, according to the head of one of its units.

“We are waiting to see how final legislation is structured and if it permits alliances and joint ventures to be able to offer a range of services,” Xavier Garcia de Quevedo, chief executive officer of Southern Copper Minera Mexico, a Grupo Mexico unit, said in a phone interview yesterday from Mexico City. “We have been looking a lot into future opportunities in shale gas and oil.”

Grupo Mexico is seeking to expand operations after President Enrique Pena Nieto last month enacted a law that will allow foreign companies to produce Mexican oil for the first time since 1938. Secondary legislation of the energy law is expected to be completed by May.

The company is “well-positioned” to develop new investments in the energy industry, such as contracts for new shallow-water jack-up rigs, said Garcia, who is also on Grupo Mexico’s board. Construction of a 250-megawatt electricity plant, which could be funded with a bond sale, is also being considered, he said.

The company is still planning initial share sales for its infrastructure and railroad branches, as well as its Americas Mining unit, Garcia said. Grupo Mexico delayed an IPO of its mining unit in London last August after the price of copper and emerging-market stocks fell, according to three people with direct knowledge of the decision.

Grupo Mexico rose 1.1 percent to 41.80 pesos at 1:45 p.m. in Mexico City, after earlier gaining as much as 3.1 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Williams in Mexico City at awilliams111@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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