Performing in cases with a world wide scope, such as the acquisition of Aviall by Boeing, the merger and acquisitions department of Noronha Advogados again demonstrated a very high level of performance in 2006 and should maintain such levels of performance in 2007. That was the evaluation of the partners of the firm during their annual meeting, in which also the directors from the head office and from all the national (São Paulo, Brasília, Rio de Janeiro, Paraná and Porto Alegre) and international (United Kingdom, Portugal, EUA, China and Argentina) branches were present.

Within the period of one year ending on September 2006, the department has been engaged in 21 merger and acquisition transactions (see the list below) between companies from five different continents, located in the following countries: Brazil. USA, Portugal, United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, China and Angola. The sectors involved are: pharmaceutical, food, aerospace, energy, auto components, metallurgy, real estate and financial. "The number of merger and acquisitions is similar to previous years, in particular during the 1990´s, but what is of special note is the fact that the transaction were spread over the four corners of the globe, thereby consolidating Noronha Advogados international practice", explain José Paulo Lago Alves Pequeno, the coordinating partner of the merger and acquisitions practice group.

Furthermore, his view is that the growth is the result of consolidation following the recovery in some sectors of the global economy, after the slow down due to the events that took place on 11 September 2001. Another influencing factor is the greater stability of the Brazilian economy, which allows national and foreign entrepreneurs to make more confident projections for the future, although their remains problems in the areas of exchange and interest.

In the opinion of Vera Helena de Moraes Dantas, partner of the operating group for mergers and acquisitions at the London branch of Noronha Advogados, Brazil´s credibility has increased in recent years and is the main factor behind these investments, together with the importance of the Brazilian market to larger companies looking to expand into new markets. "The interests of foreign investors in the Country during 2006 went beyond the operation of merger and acquisitions, as we also worked in a number of cases of direct investments", she added.

The director of the branch office of Noronha Advogados in Portugal, Ricardo Soares Domingos, who worked on five merger and acquisitions transactions undertaken by the firm, noticed that the real estate market of the country has been an important source of foreign investments, due to attractive fiscal conditions. "The Portuguese companies have a natural connection with the Brazilian and Angolan markets", he concluded.

In China, the main attraction to investors is the size of the internal market and the incentives given by the government for the establishment of companies which bring technology to the Country. "We have had a great upturn in the amount of advice we have given in relation to Chinese law for companies with various interests", observes Lílian Thomé, partner of Noronha Advogados and responsible for the Chinese Department.

Merger and acquisitions (sept/05 – sept/06) *

1) Apsen Farmacêutica (Brazil) – acquisition in Brazil;
2) Asperbrás (Brazil) – acquisition in U.S.A.
3) Asperbrás (Brazil) – sale in Angola;
4) Boeing (U.S.A.) – world-wide merger with repercussions in Brazil;
5) DHB Componentes Automotivos (Brazil) – merger in China;
6) Gauss Ind. e Com. de Autopeças Ltda (Brazil) – merger in China;
7) Genus PLC (United Kingdom) – acquisition in Brazil;
8) Genus PLC (United Kingdom) – sale in Brazil;
9) Zhong Zhi Group (China) – acquisition in Brazil;
10) Mybrand (Portugal) – acquisition in England;
11) Credit Suisse (Switzerland) – world-wide merger with repercussions in Brazil;
12) Ecil Metalurgia (Brazil) – acquisition in U.S.A;
13) EcoSecurities (UK) – world-wide merger with repercussions in Brazil;
14) Élice Industria e Comércio (Brazil) – merger in China;
15) Marques (Portugal/ France) – joint venture in China;
16) Pool of british investors – acquisition of a company in Portugal;
17) International Investment Bank with operations in Brazil – merger in Brazil;
18) European food company – merger in Brazil;
19) European food company – merger in Brazil;
20) Brazilian financial institution – merger in Portugal;
21) Civil engeneering companies – international associate for public bid

Source: Noronha Advogados
* We have not been able to name particular clients above due to their confidential agreement.