April 4, 2017 / 6:03 AM / a year ago

Vale megadeal puts Morgan Stanley, Bradesco at the top of Brazil M&A

    By Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Tatiana Bautzer
    SAO PAULO, April 4 (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley and
Banco Bradesco BBI SA topped Brazil's mergers and acquisitions
rankings in the first quarter, buoyed by advisory roles in the
$21 billion corporate reorganization of Vale SA, the
world's No.1 iron ore producer.
    New York-based Morgan Stanley and Bradesco BBI, the
investment-banking arm of Brazil's No. 3 listed lender Banco
Bradesco SA, surpassed rivals in last quarter's
rankings by almost 10 times in terms of announced M&A volumes,
Thomson Reuters deals intelligence data showed on Tuesday.
    Both banks advised two of Vale's main shareholders on the
deal. Under the terms of the reorganization, Vale will become a
company with no defined controlling shareholder within three
years, a landmark step to help stifle state interference in the
    The deal represents a milestone in a country long hobbled by
corporate governance scandals and reorganizations that hurt
minority investors. It comes as Brazil's government is selling
dozens of power and sanitation utilities, as well as assets of
state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA.
    Companies announced $27.121 billion worth of Brazil-related
mergers from January to March, up six-fold from a year earlier,
the data showed. Excluding Vale, the value of M&A deals reached
$6.195 billion, less than half the amount seen in the same
period four years ago, before the recession struck. 
    The number of deals in the first quarter fell 35 percent to
108 from a year earlier, the data showed.
    Stricter legal and regulatory scrutiny has continued to put
the brakes on M&A announcements this year, compounding the
impact of the recession and political turmoil that has kept
keeping buyers and sellers at odds over valuations.
    According to Alessandro Zema and Eduardo Miras, co-heads of
Brazil investment banking for Morgan Stanley, M&A deals should
accelerate this year, even if increased debt and equity capital
markets activity posed some competition for the segment.
    Declining borrowing costs and a stable currency could spur
Brazil's recovery and the pace of takeovers through year-end,
they said. More consolidation efforts could take place, as
companies try to cut debt, improve their capital and tax
structures, and become more efficient.
    "It's very hard for a strategic player or a financial
sponsor to ignore Brazil because of the cycle," Zema said. "The
country's economy offers relevant opportunities for global
players in almost every segment of activity."
    According to Alessandro Farkuh, Bradesco BBI's head of M&A,
more strategic players will seek to enter Brazil as President
Michel Temer's administration passes pension, labor market and
tax reforms aimed at restoring confidence in the economy.
    "Activity will grow in a more robust manner once the
macroeconomic uncertainties dissipate and players feel the
outlook has turned much more predictable," Farkuh said.
    A challenge for buyers and sellers alike remains a
lengthening M&A execution cycle. Still, growing interest from
multinational companies and buyout firms in potential targets
"is leading to a more adequate pricing of assets," Bradesco
BBI's Farkuh said.
    Even as the list of delayed deals kept growing last quarter,
advisory work remains intense, forcing banks to shuffle staff
from areas with lighter workloads to handle more M&A and debt
restructuring transactions.
    Morgan Stanley topped value rankings after working on four
transactions worth $21.663 billion, followed by Bradesco BBI's
seven deals valued at $21.424 billion. Morgan Stanley last
topped Brazil's first-quarter M&A league tables in 2000.
    Itaú Unibanco Holding SA's investment bank led
the number of deal rankings after working on 10 transactions.
    Following is a table with Brazil M&A ranking for the first
quarter. Numbers are expressed in U.S. dollars, unless
 FIRST-Q         FIRM         DEALS (Jan.   OF DEALS  FIRST-Q
 UARTER                       1-March 31)    (Jan.    UARTER
  2017                                      1-March    2016
    1      Morgan Stanley &   $21.663 bln      4        14
    2     Banco Bradesco BBI  $21.424 bln      7         6
    3     Banco BTG Pactual    $1.875 bln      4         1
    4       Citigroup Inc      $1.656 bln      1       n.a.
    5       Goldman Sachs      $1.656 bln      2       n.a.
              Group Inc                               
    6        Itaú BBA SA       $919.4 mln      10        2
    7       Credit Suisse      $706.4 mln      1        14
               Group AG                               
    8      JPMorgan Chase &    $608.4 mln      2        14
    9      Bank of America     $517.9 mln      2         4
            Merrill Lynch                             
   10     PriceWaterhouseCoo   $296.4 mln      2        14
            SUBTOTAL WITH     $26.123 bln      39        -
          FINANCIAL ADVISER                           
            INDUSTRY TOTAL    $27.121 bln     108        -
 (Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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