Last Updated June 10, 2019

Law and Practice

Contributed By Ferrere Abogados

Authors



Ferrere Abogados is the only multi-jurisdictional, purely South American law firm, and has 250 attorneys across Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay, offering international-class service and participating in the majority of important deals. The M&A practice group works in collaboration with the firm’s other areas to form a multidisciplinary team offering full-service legal advice. It represents a stellar list of international and local clients from a wide range of sectors, such as retail, energy, infrastructure, insurance, construction, media and information technology, agribusiness, food, pharmaceutical, banking and real estate. Activity includes acting as buyer’s or seller’s counsel in acquisitions, leading applications for concessions, advising on greenfield projects, and developing ex ante a BIT protection strategy for a major investment.

The M&A market continued to be very active in Uruguay in 2018, with probably more deals compared to 2017, though the latter was a year with record-breaking values in the country’s history. Well-known international players continue to fuel the market at a steady pace with what has become regular activity in the country, in many cases fostered by a rooted economic, political and social stability, alongside a reputed legal and judicial system.

Investments from traditional sources – neighbouring countries such as Argentina and Brazil – continue to be at low levels due to difficult conditions in those markets. Asian power players (in particular China and Japan) and Western European and US companies represent a large portion of the deals, together with untraditional Latin American markets such as Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

One of the key trends of recent years has been the emergence of businesses belonging to Uruguayan entrepreneurs being of appeal to foreign investors, mainly in the technology sector.

The retail, agribusiness and technology industries experienced significant M&A activity in 2017/2018.

The two biggest transactions in 2017 were in the agribusiness sector: the sale of Weyerhaeuser's forests and industries in Uruguay to BTG Pactual for USD402.5 million and the sale of the largest, state-of-the-art slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant in Uruguay – Breeders & Packers Uruguay (BPU) – to Japanese NH Foods for USD135 million.

Major transactions in 2018 included the acquisition by Coca-Cola FEMSA (the largest Coca-Cola franchise bottler in the world by sales volume) of Montevideo Refrescos S.R.L. from The Coca-Cola Company for USD250.7 million.

Ferrere Abogados

Juncal 1392

+598 2900 1000

ferrere@ferrere.com www.ferrere.com
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Authors



Ferrere Abogados is the only multi-jurisdictional, purely South American law firm, and has 250 attorneys across Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay, offering international-class service and participating in the majority of important deals. The M&A practice group works in collaboration with the firm’s other areas to form a multidisciplinary team offering full-service legal advice. It represents a stellar list of international and local clients from a wide range of sectors, such as retail, energy, infrastructure, insurance, construction, media and information technology, agribusiness, food, pharmaceutical, banking and real estate. Activity includes acting as buyer’s or seller’s counsel in acquisitions, leading applications for concessions, advising on greenfield projects, and developing ex ante a BIT protection strategy for a major investment.

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