Biggest, tightest, longest, cheapest. Superlatives abound when describing LatAm capital markets and advisory for the last 12 months, and many bankers expect the good times to continue rolling.
América Móvil (AMX) is a frequent star of LatAm issuance, beloved by investors despite its razor thin spread and feared by bankers for its rigorous execution standards.
The merger of Brazil’s two largest retailers – Casas Bahia and Globex, a unit of Pão de Açúcar – was no easy task.
Aggressive in expansion, conservative with financing, Grupo México aims to double copper output in the next five years. Its CFO does not expect fresh fundraising.
After suffering derivative losses in the 2008-2009 crisis, Brazil’s Aracruz Celulose was purchased by Votorantim Celulose e Papel.
Chile’s Claro y Cía, established in 1880, is no stranger to complex M&A. In 2010 it acted as legal counsel for LAN Airlines in its merger with Brazil’s TAM that promises to be the largest airline in the region.
International banks are eager to re-enter the LatAm bank market. But cost of funds, spread compression and better DCM terms will keep a lid on volume.
In a year of significantly increased Chinese buying of LatAm assets, CNOOC’s purchase of 50% of Bridas was one of the largest South-South deals.
Credit Suisse is back on top again, aiming to leverage relationships throughout emerging markets to further stoke the coals of its LatAm investment banking engine. The Swiss house coasts on rising revenue from M&A, equity and fixed income, but has not slipped into complacency.
New York-based Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is no stranger to megadeals.
In the year to November 29, a total of 1,221 M&A deals worth $244.6 billion involving a LatAm acquirer or target had taken place, according to Dealogic.
Braskem’s 2010 acquisition of Quattor Participacoes, Polibutenos and Unipar Comercial forges a new petrochemical giant in the Brazilian petrochemicals market.
Televisa’s partnership with Nextel may be off the table. But the Mexican media conglomerate is still expected to pursue mobile to unlock value in its content.
In June, UK-based private equity giant Apax Partners, through its Dethalas vehicle, closed on its first investment in Brazil.
Brazil is on a path for record-breaking M&A volume and sky high valuations this year, but advisory fees are lagging.
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Will a strong dollar deter investors from LatAm bonds?
No, the yield-hunt goes on
Yes, but only retail investors
Yes, once the Fed raises rates
It is difficult to say whether [Brazil] will manage to go through a stage of 'blood, sweat and tears' after so many years of 'sex, drugs and rock and roll'.
Luis Stuhlberger, Verde Asset Management
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