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Brazil Approves Lan’s Tender Offer for Tam to Create Latam

Brazil’s securities regulator paved the way to the completion of a deal that will create the world’s largest airline by market value.

CVM, as the regulator is known, approved Lan Airlines SA’s plan to start a tender offer for shares of carrier Tam SA, according to a regulatory filing yesterday.

Santiago-based Lan has 10 days to make the offer for Tam shares, the airline said in a statement posted on the website of Chile’s securities regulator.

Tam shares will be swapped for stock in a holding company called Holdco II, which will combine with Lan to form Latam Airlines.

“This is another significant step in the combination process between Lan and Tam, which should be completed in the first half of 2012,” Lan’s Chief Financial Officer Alejandro de la Fuente said, according to the statement.

Tam’s acquisition by Lan, first announced in August 2010, will create the world’s 12th largest carrier by revenue and would be the biggest acquisition of an airline in at least two decades, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The combination would have a market value of about $13.4 billion, overtaking Air China Ltd. and Singapore Airlines Ltd. as the world’s biggest carrier.

Brazil’s CVM also approved the trading of Brazilian depositary receipts in Sao Paulo of the combined company, Latam Airlines SA. The BDRs will trade with the ticker symbol LATM11 in the Bovespa.

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