The Corte Primera de lo Contencioso Administrativo (Venezuelan First Administrative Court) has annulled an earlier decision of Venezuelan competition agency Procompetencia to fine Coca-Cola’s and Pepsi-Cola’s bottling companies in the country for collusion on discount and credit terms given to supermarkets. The court’s decision was issued on March 13.
Chilean forestry group Empresas CMPC SA has acquired the local forestry subsidiary of Royal Dutch/Shell (Shell International), Forestal y Agrícola Monte Aguila SA (FAMA), for US$100 million. Deutsche Bank coordinated the transaction, which closed on March 13.
Continuing the trend of investment in natural gas power generation, Brazilian power company El Paso Rio Claro Ltda (EPRC) has received US$65 million from International Finance Corporation (IFC). This is the first disbursement of a US$75 million loan to be used for the finance of the Macaé Natural Gas Power Project. The funds were disbursed on March 4.
The Supreme Court of El Salvador has reversed an earlier decision to ban all imports of Pepsi into the country. The decision means that PepsiCo’s licensed bottler in Guatemala, Embotelladora La Mariposa (ELM), is allowed to recommence distribution of Pepsi products in El Salvador. The decision was given on March 12.
Brazil’s mining giant Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) has acquired 100 per cent of the share capital of Elkem Rana AS (ERA), a ferroalloys unit of Norwegian metals producer Elkem ASA, for US$14 million plus 50 per cent of the ‘Net Cash’, giving a total of US$17.6 million. The deal closed on January 31.
Brazil’s Goulart Penteado, Iervolino e Lefosse - Advogados (GPIL), in cooperation with Linklaters, has appointed two new partners to its tax and litigation practices. Gustavo Lian Haddad joined the firm’s tax department on March 17 and Arnaldo Penteado Laudísio was elected as a partner in the litigation team, effective January 1.
Colombia will receive a US$300 million loan from the World Bank to support economic adjustments and macroeconomic stability. The loan is the first of a possible four tranches totalling US$900 million to be disbursed through to 2006. The bank’s board approved the loan on March 18.
Five partners of the Brazilian firm Pinheiro Neto Advogados have been elected to a two-year membership of the Associação Comercial do Estado de São Paulo (São Paulo Trade Association - ACESP). The election was held on February 26 and covers the 2003-2005 term.
The consolidation trend in the Brazilian banking sector continues. Banco Itaú SA has acquired 95.75 per cent of the ownership interest held by Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank AG (HVB) and other Brazilian controlling shareholders in the capital stock of Banco BBA Creditanstalt SA (BBA) and its subsidiaries for R$3.3 billion (US$940 million). The deal closed on February 26.
The fallout from an Argentine financial scandal continues, with a Uruguayan court ruling against a group of international financial companies represented by Uruguayan offshore bank Compañía General de Negocios SAIFE (CGN). The decision is the first step towards depositors reclaiming their funds from the insolvent bank and was announced on March 6.