M&A boutiques planting flags in Brazil, challenging large banks

lunes 19 de mayo de 2014 10:40 GYT

By Guillermo Parra-Bernal

SAO PAULO May 19 (Reuters) - Greenhill & Co Inc and other global boutique investment firms are moving into Brazil, aiming to take advantage of strong mergers and acquisitions activity by poaching clients and deals from big-name banks.

Wealthy Brazilian investors such as retail tycoon Abilio Diniz and João Alves de Queiroz Filho, who controls drug and beauty care products maker Hypermarcas SA, are increasingly tapping boutiques to oversee some deals and help them find potential investment opportunities locally and abroad.

Worried about potential conflicts of interest with banks that act as both lenders and advisors, more Brazilian companies are turning to boutiques to help with cross-border takeovers and debt restructurings.

Major banks often seek top-notch deals as a springboard to selling loans, derivatives and other products while boutiques provide tailor-made advisory services.

The number of Brazilian takeovers involving boutiques has risen almost 20 percent since 2009, according to Thomson Reuters data.

BR Partners Banco de Investimento SA, led by star dealmaker Ricardo Lacerda, has advised on more than 80 transactions worth $35 billion in the period, with Rothschild increasingly beating the largest investment banks for mandates for share offerings, M&A and debt restructurings.

"Ours is a competitive business everywhere in the world and Brazil is no exception," said Scott L. Bok, Greenhill's chief executive. "History in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere shows that clients will increasingly turn for advice to firms that are focused solely on advising clients rather than selling them many financial products."

Greenhill set up shop in Brazil in October, confident that the outlook for deals would remain attractive despite a sluggish economy. It says it also wants to advise companies preparing IPOs.   Continuación...