Merger and acquisition volumes in Latin America plunged 75%
in 2002. However, it was not a bad year for cross-border deals
within the region involving Latin American bidders and targets.
Indeed, a transaction of historic proportions took place in
October 2002 when Petrobras, the Brazilian national oil
company, paid $1.03 billion for 58.6% of Pérez Companc,
Argentina's second-largest oil company. As Argentina's economy
crashed and street protests threatened to topple the
government, negotiators from the two sides hashed out a deal
giving the Brazilians control of one of the country's largest
companies. The acquisition, significant for its complexity and
for Petrobras's audacity and strategic vision, is
LatinFinance's M&A deal of the year.
Extreme risk frightened most investors away from
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