Return of the Big Spenders

Return of the Big Spenders

Brazil

In the space of a few weeks in March, buttoned-down, sober businessmen like John Brock, the American who runs Belgium's Interbrew beer company, and César Alierta, president of Spanish telecom giant Telefónica, offered billions of dollars to buy companies in Latin America, a region most multinationals had avoided for years. Global companies, led by big European groups like Interbrew and Telefónica, are taking over competitors in Latin America or raising majority stakes in subsidiaries there in the most significant burst of foreign direct investment the region has seen in years. Belgium's Interbrew, advised by Goldman Sachs and Lazard, is offering $4.1 billion in sto

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