A buyer's guide to M&A in Latin America

16 January 2018

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M&A investors are looking beyond the energy sector in Latin America. Digitization and an increasing middle-class population have made the region’s consumer goods, technology, financial services and healthcare sectors attractive to buyers. What’s more, a majority of dealmakers agree that M&A in the region will increase overall in the next 12 months — and nearly half feel “highly confident” about investing there.

Meanwhile, regulatory and labor reforms by governments promoting growth have created optimism for acquisitions in places such as Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia. Dealmakers see an especially bright future for M&A in Chile — the country was the top choice in the region for its pro-business environment and for planned acquisitions over the next year. Mexico was rated to have the second-best business environment after Chile and the third most likely country to be targeted by respondents for acquisitions in the year ahead.

In order to understand how M&A dealmakers are planning to invest in Latin America, Baker McKenzie commissioned Mergermarket to survey 125 senior corporate and private equity executives.

Key findings include:

  • Four in five dealmakers expect M&A activity in Latin America to rise over the next year, and of those 40% feel “highly confident” about investing in the region.
  • Dealmakers point to Chile as the top destination for future transactions, with 72% of respondents saying they plan on targeting the country in the coming 12 months.
  • Increasing market share (37%) and acquiring strong local brands (24%) are the biggest drivers of deal activity for investors, representing a shift in M&A strategy.