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Slim widens investments by taking stakes in Saks and Citgroup

In September it was family-owned New York Times group, now its luxury department store owner Saks and troubled banking giant Citigroup. Carlos Slim Helu (pictured), the world's second richest man and family business owner, has made a splash this week with two high profile investments.

He has built up a $23.1 million stake in Saks, equivalent to 17.6%, whose flagship Fifth Avenue store sells designer clothes, accessories, cosmetics and gifts.

The news forced the company into making an emergency announcement of a rights agreement that would prevent anyone acquiring more than 20% or launching a bid for the company, without the approval of its board.

Not content with Saks, Slim also launched a raid on Citigroup just prior to its bailout by US government. Grupo Financiero Inbursa, the bank the Mexico-based billionaire controls, paid roughly $135 million for 26 million Citigroup shares, equivalent to a 0.5% overall stake.

On Tuesday, the troubled bank received a  $306 billion bail-out that guarantees risky assets and an injection of $20 billion of capital through a preferred share purchase.

Slim has not made clear whether his latest stockbuilding is a precursor to making bids for the two businesses.

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