PRIVATIZATION OF THE YEAR: Cashing in on Telebrás
Euromoney, is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2024
Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

PRIVATIZATION OF THE YEAR: Cashing in on Telebrás

Partly by luck, but as much because it was well structured, well organized and guaranteed to run to deadline, Brazil's auction of the state's controlling stake in telecoms provider Telebrás was a roaring success. Michael Peterson reports on why it came out as Euromoney's privatization of the year. Also, Brian Caplen looks at other notable Latin American deals and deal-makers of the year.

Rarely has there been a better-timed deal. When the auction of the Brazilian state's controlling stake in Telebrás, the national telecoms company, took place on July 29, world markets were jittery and investors were nervous that impending presidential elections would undermine Brazil's fragile stability programme. But the deal was done ­ $19 billion was raised from trade buyers in Latin America's biggest transaction ever. Then, within a month, Russia had devalued the rouble and defaulted on its domestic debts. Brazil's stock market lost half its value as investors fled emerging markets. And within six months, Brazil had been forced to devalue its own currency. Those investors who hoped Latin America would escape the worst of the emerging-markets crisis were proved wrong.

Last month a second telecoms sell-off was due to take place. This time the Brazilian government planned to auction four licences for companies to compete with the country's fixed-line and long-distance monopolies. Only two bids were received. Amid the collapse of Brazil's currency, it was yet another sign of lack of confidence in Brazil. The auction was scrapped. Officials say it may take place later this year.

In July it had been so different.

Gift this article