Professionals Have Their Uses

Apr 29, 2004

Some of Latin America's biggest and best companies have built outstanding in-house M&A teams. So why do they still hire investment bankers?

Monterrey-based Cemex became a multinational cement company by launching a relentless series of mergers and acquisitions over the last 15 years. During that time, the company developed a highly methodical approach to M&A as it swept across the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Today, Cemex has a six-member M&A team in Monterrey, responsible for the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. A second six-member team, based in Singapore, focuses on Asia. Philippe Gastone, senior vice president of corporate business development at Cemex, says that until recently, few big Latin American companies had the in-house M&A teams that are common in most US or European groups. Cemex created its global team six years ago to focus on acquisitions valued at $100 million and under, but the company is far from the only one in Latin America to employ in-house investment bankers. Telmex, Mexico's leading fixed-line telephone company, and América...

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