M&A House of the Year - Credit Suisse

M&A House of the Year - Credit Suisse

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Credit Suisse wrapped up 2017 with several noteworthy transactions. The Swiss bank not only participated in multiple award-winning acquisitions, it also placed in the top three of Dealogic’s M&A league tables at the end of September 2017.

Credit Suisse’s role in transactions in the power, infrastructure and retail sectors from Brazil and Mexico to Central America and the Andes have made it the winner of the award for M&A House of the Year.

Credit Suisse advised Duke Energy on the $2.4 billion sale of its portfolio in Latin America, this year’s Cross-Border M&A Deal of the Year. It also advised Blackstone on the sale of the Ventika wind farm in Mexico for $852 million, the pick for Private Equity Deal of the Year.

The bank offered advice to Ideal on the $1.04 billion sale of the Mexican toll road concession Arco Norte. It also worked with Heineken on a €1.02 billion ($1.2 billion) deal with Kirin in Brazil.

On the buyside, the Swiss bank advised GMéxico Transportes on the acquisition of the Florida East Coast Railway from Fortress Group.

According to Vanessa Dager, co-head of Credit Suisse’s Latin American M&A division, private equity firms have become more flexible to compete in Latin American markets.

“[Private equity] is bringing in new ideas and is willing to come in as a partner or minority shareholder,” she says. “We also have more assets, and funds have fresh capital.”

She cites Southern Cross’ purchase of Panamanian food retailer Super Xtra as an example of new buyer flexibility. “It can be difficult to find private equity for valuable retail assets,” she says. “This was the first time a private equity fund beat everyone else for an asset, in a space where strategic investors wanted to be.”

Looking ahead, Nicolas Camacho, also co-head of M&A for Latin America at Credit Suisse, says Argentina’s appetite for sales will pick up. After a flurry of debt issues, some companies are preparing to grow through acquisitions.

“Capital markets took the lead, that is the natural course,” Camacho says. “The next step is for companies that are thinking of potential sales.” LF