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Dynastic Showdown In The Riviera Maya?

12 September, 2012

In a small, sleepy town in Mexican Caribbean paradise, the scene may soon be set for a showdown between Mexico's two richest telecoms dynasties.

In what would make an ample plot for a telenovelaon their own networks, the Slims and the Azcárragas are both rumored to be interested the new Riviera Maya airport concession in Tulum.

Carlos Slim, who Forbes named the richest man in the world, is said to be looking to make a bid through his own construction company, IDEAL, or together with a Mexican airport group.

His son, Marco Antonio Slim, also hinted at the appeal of the idea this week in Mexico City, when he said he sees a lot more room for growth in the Mexican construction industry.

Meanwhile, on the Caribbean coast, the ex-head of Tulum's hotel association has been telling local radio that Alejandro Burillo Azcárraga is also interested in the new terminal. Azcárraga's company, Grupo Pegaso, has bought the legal documents that define the requirements for a potential bid, reported Enfoque FM.

Both clans are smooth operators with sharp business minds. A showdown between them in the Mexican Caribbean would prove an interesting clash of family fortunes.

Carlos Slim built up his empire in a rags-to-riches story of fairy tale proportions.

Probably his best known business is Mexican phone giant, Telmex, run today by his sons, Marco Antonio and Patrick Slim Domit. The Slims are also involved in real estate, banking and health care, to name but a few of their highly successful ventures.

The Azcárragas, on the other hand, are better known in the broadcasting world. They pioneered radio in Mexico in 1930, when Raúl Azcárraga Vidaurreta founded station XEW, that soon became known as "The voice of Latin America from Mexico."

Nowadays, Raúl's descendents are more widely known for Televisa, Mexico's main TV network. Founded and controlled by the family, it is the world's biggest producer and broadcaster of Spanish language media.

It forms the modern cornerstone of the Azcárraga's empire, although Alejandro Burillo left in 1999 to establish Grupo Pegaso, after a high-profile family disagreement.

That two such smart and familiar names are said to be sniffing around the airport opportunity is a sure sign of its future success.

Although the project met with delays and false starts in the past, there can be no doubt that the race to construct the airport is now well underway. The government's plans sees timely construction with the first planes taking off from the new tarmac in just a few more years.

But the competition still has a way to go. The winning bid won't be selected until the end of this year and - savvy as the Slims and the Azcárragas undoubtedly are - with over 10 groups reported to be interested, they still have their work cut out to win the contract, and broadcast their own success.

Visit our destination pages to find out more about the new Tulum airport and opportunities in Riviera Maya real estate.

Topics: Investment Politics Riviera Maya