The Killer Instinct
Three buccaneers have made a fortune by handing over Brazil's AmBev to Belgium's Interbrew, but few other
shareholders profited much from the deal.
The transaction linking AmBev with
Interbrew is the culmination of a lifetime of dealmaking for
Marcel Telles, the ferociously competitive Brazilian wheeler
and dealer. While the deal has made him and two partners -
Jorge Paulo Lemann and Carlos Alberto Sucupira - into
billionaires, it is a blow for Latin America's sickly equity
markets and a setback in the struggle to improve the region's
dire corporate governance standards.
Their decision to sell the company they spent nearly 15
years building into the world's fifth-largest brewer was a
complete surprise to shareholders. Even more astonishing were
the terms of the deal, which appropriated the entire control
premium for holders of voting stock -principally Telles,
Lemann and Sucupira -and left the majority of shareholders
who own non-voting stock out in the cold. The three men are
arrogant, aggressive and widely feared in Brazil and abroad.
Yet São Paulo's business community also...
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