Mexico's Femsa says will pay $398 million in taxes

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican conglomerate Femsa said on Friday it will pay $398 million in taxes after reaching an agreement with authorities, marking another win for Mexico’s government, which recently collected a similar sum from retailer Walmart (NYSE:WMT) de Mexico.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has threatened to make public the names of 15 companies he said owed a total of $2 billion in taxes, part of his efforts to boost collection in the country with the lowest take in the 37-nation Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Femsa declined to comment when asked if it was among the companies on the president’s list.

The company said in a public filing the deal to pay 8.8 billion pesos would “resolve interpretative differences over taxes paid outside of Mexico, without judicial action.”

The SAT tax authority did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Although Mexico is Femsa’s core market, the retailer and Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) bottler also has operations in other parts of Latin America and has recently invested in U.S. businesses.

The deal follows Walmart de Mexico’s (MX:WALMEX) payment of $358 million after negotiations with the government over an even larger sum authorities had aimed to charge over the retailer’s 2014 sale of restaurant chain Vips.

Lopez Obrador later praised Walmart de Mexico for its “good behavior,” and said it was not on his list of 15 firms that had yet to pay back taxes.

“The majority of them are on their way to being fixed… They don’t want lawsuits, they want to fix this and I welcome that,” he said earlier this week.