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UK Corporate Acquisitions in Latin America in the 1990s: Lost Opportunities in a New Economic Environment?

By Edmund Amann, Germano Mendes de Paula and Joao Carlos Ferraz

Abstract

Over the 1990s foreign direct investment (FDI) flowed into Latin America at an unprecedented rate. During this period, capital inflows associated with privatisations and private mergers and acquisitions (M&As) rose especially steeply. Drawing on original firm- level transactions data, this article examines the extent to which UK enterprises participated in the Latin American privatisation and private M&A boom. The authors conclude that, relative to their counterparts in many other major industrial countries, UK enterprises adopted a cautious posture, largely eschewing privatisation opportunities and concentrating M&A activities across relatively few operations, sectors and countries, in order to strength product and market positions. Moreover, the strategic logic guiding the most important corporate acqusitions centered on gaining access to domestic markets rather than attempting to create global export platforms.Environmental Economics and Policy,

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