It might not be everywhere you want to be, but Latin American deal of the year Visanet certainly turned out to be a rewarding place for a number of players. The Brazilian deal came with the kind of features any ABS enthusiast could admire: a new type of issuer, a well-conceived structure, enviable pricing, and behind it all, a cadre of big names. Led by Merrill Lynch, the US$500 million securitization of credit card vouchers even offered some drama in the days ahead of pricing. Virtually on the eve of launch, one of the originator's shareholders, ABN Amro, backed out. Sources said the Dutch bank's head office wanted to pursue independent funding for Brazil. But exiting so close to pricing could have disrupted the transaction. In the end, it did not.

"It was a credit decision by ABN," said a source familiar with the deal. "The structure already provided for the exit of a shareholder."

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