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Most of the acquired companies were in Brazil, Mexico and Chile. Most of the acquirers were in Brazil, the US and -- surprisingly -- in Colombia. Trends and data drawn from the Latin Business Chronicle 2012 Latin America’s top 100 M&A ranking.

Mergers have grown larger in Latin America. Last June brewer Anheuser Busch InBev agreed to buy the remaining 50 percent it did not already own of Grupo Modelo for a reported $20.1 billion. This was the largest acquisition ever in Mexican history. It dwarfed such 2011 largest deals as the $7.7 billion spin-off of Carlos Slim’s Minera Frisco, or the $5.8 billion acquisition of Brazilian Tele Norte Leste Participações by Brazilian telecom Oi.

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