January 16, 2018 / 9:33 PM / 7 months ago

Brazil elections unlikely to derail M&A recovery, regulator says

SAO PAULO, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Uncertainty surrounding Brazil’s presidential elections will not derail a recovery of mergers and acquisitions as Latin America’s largest economy shifts into higher gear, an antitrust official told Reuters in an interview.

Meetings with private-sector lawyers paint a “very good” outlook for corporate transactions in 2018, said Alexandre Cordeiro, the head of the antitrust agency Cade’s technical staff.

“Lawyers are seeing plenty of demand due to the prospects for the economic recovery, despite this being an election year,” he said in a phone interview on Monday.

Brazil’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow the most in five years in 2018, potentially lifting corporate revenues following a two-year recession.

That could pour additional fuel into a recovery in buyout activity after a 33 percent jump in the value of Brazilian M&A in 2017, when conglomerates under pressure from corruption probes and heavy debt were forced to sell major assets.

Cordeiro said the applied technology and farm sectors could see strong buyer interest, following major transactions in Brazil’s financial sector in recent years.

His comments highlight optimism in corporate Brazil despite uncertainty over whether the winner of this year’s presidential elections will stick to President Michel Temer’s pledges to open up markets, cut red tape and rein in government spending.

Cordeiro joined Cade as a board member in 2015 and took over its technical body last year. (Reporting by Iuri Dantas; Writing by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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