Mergers and acquisitions involving family-owned companies remain common across Latin America, and still throw up unique problems before, during and after negotiations, particularly when family members clash, said lawyers speaking at Latin Lawyer's 5th Annual M&A Conference.

Lawyers working on deals involving family businesses face challenges on both sides of the negotiating table, advising both the buyer and the seller. When working with family-owned sellers, they have to tread particularly carefully to avoid pitfalls later on.

Pre-sale, it's important businesses re-organise themselves so they aren't undersold. To add value and increase buyer appetite, costly assets that are not related to the business itself should be removed and an independent management team introduced, which would make the company less dependent on the founding family in the event that the buyers are unwilling to keep family members on after the acquisition, argued Veirano Advogados' Alberto Bragança.

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