After a week of speculation, Brazilian airline TAM has confirmed it is in negotiations to purchase a major stake in local carrier TRIP Linhas Areas for an undisclosed amount.

If successful the deal, which has yet to be signed or approved by regulators, would see TAM gain 31 per cent of TRIP′s total capital stock and 25 per cent of its voting capital.

The two airlines established a code-sharing agreement in 2004.

In the deal announced on 30 March, Brazilian firm Barbosa Müssnich & Aragão revealed it was advsiing TAM in the negotiations, with Souza, Cescon, Barrieu & Flesch Advogados confirming it was advising TRIP.

′With this transaction, TAM is aiming to expand their existing code-share agreement as well as further capture current market growth and have a more meaningful exposure to the fast growing regional airline market,′ says Barbara Rosenberg, antitrust partner at Barbosa Müssnich & Aragão. ′Additionally, TAM and TRIP′s networks are complementary to each other and the connectivity improvement could generate further passenger flow for both companies.′

According to Rosenberg, the acquisition will be done in two stages – the first being concluded at the time of closing and the second stage a year later when TAM will hold 31 per cent of the total capital of TRIP.

The latest M&A comes in the midst of the long-running US$3.7 billion merger between Chilean flag carrier LAN and TAM, which would create one of the ten largest airlines in the world under the banner of LATAM.

Barbosa Müssnich & Aragão are providing antitrust advice on that deal, with Machado, Meyer, Sendacz e Opice Advogados providing corporate advice.

In January, the merger was suspended when a Chilean consumer rights group lodged a petition with the country′s antitrust authorities questioning the impact of the merger on routes across Latin America.

In recent months, Brazil′s airline regulator ANAC announced it had approved the merger, although both sides still require a green light from Chile′s antitrust authority, known by its acronym TDLC, before it can proceed.

Counsel to TAM

·         In-house counsel - Luiz Cláudio Aguiar, Fabiana Vilhena Venditti, Bruno Alessio and Deborah Soares

·         Barbosa Müssnich & Aragão

Partners Francisco Antunes Maciel and Barbara Rosenberg and associates Luís Loria Flaks, José Otavio Faloppa, José Inácio Ferraz de Almeida Prado Filho, Sabrina Filgueiras Machado and Thiago Baptista Ferreira de Pinho

Counsel to TRIP

·         In-house counsel - Ricardo Barros Cabral

·         Souza, Cescon, Barrieu & Flesch Advogados

Partner Ronald Herscovici

(Latin Lawyer 04.04.2011)

(Notícia na Íntegra)