Ed Whitacre and Carlos Slim’s telecom empires are so intricately intertwined and interlinked, that we have no choice but to call them telecom’s ultimate buddy team – the Tango & Cash of the phone business. They often say nice things about each other in interviews, and well, their friendship has proved to be quite profitable for both parties.
Here is a quick rundown of their business ventures thus far:
In 1990, SBC bought a 10% stake in Telmex. That $1 billion investment is worth about $10 billion now.
In 1997 Carlos Slim bought a controlling stake in Prodigy and invested about $450 million. Slim sat on the board of SBC, which bought a controlling interest in the ISP in 1999. SBC later bought the rest of Prodigy. Slim and some of the companies he controlled made more than $100 million in profit.
In 2004, Slim left the board of SBC. He was building up stakes in MCI and Global Crossing at that time.
In 2005, AT&T and Telmex bought a minority stake in 2Wire, a set-top box maker.
AT&T (SBC International to be more precise), owns 2.87 billion AA-class shares of America Movil (AMX) which gives the company about 24.61% of voting shares. SBC contributed some assets to the company at the time of its launch back in 2000. America Movil’s market cap is about $85 billion.
Now if all of us were so lucky to have a friend like Slim or Whitacre!