IPOs were unusually
plentiful in Latin America last year. Nearly a dozen companies
went public in São Paulo, Santiago and Mexico
City - the region's three main financial centers. But
Brazil, which saw seven initial public offerings that raised
$1.68 billion, produced the region's two best. Natura
Cosméticos launched a $248 million IPO in May 2004, and
low-cost airline Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes followed
a month later with a $281 million equity transaction. The two
share LatinFinance's Best Equity Deal of the Year award.
Few of the outstanding equity deals for 2004 fell into the
traditional "banks and rocks" sectors - financial
institutions and commodity industries like steel and
mining - that dominate Latin American stock markets.
Instead, Natura and Gol have set the stage for future IPOs that
offer investors a chance to diversify their portfolios. Gol is
the first Brazilian IPO in...
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