Brazil: 3G Capital, a success story

The empire that conquered United States

Brazil: 3G Capital, a success story

Leer en Español: Brasil: 3G Capital, una historia de éxito

It’s not common to hear about Latin American companies taking over North American ones, but yet, said thing has happened. This is the interesting case for Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles, and Beto Sicupira, three Brazilian business partners who founded 3G Capital, which owns Heinz, Budweiser, and Burger King.

All three members of 3G Capital are multi-billionaires that started their company back in 2004. Jorge Paulo Lemann described their corporate philosophy with a metaphor pertaining to running: “You’re running, you’re always close to the limit, you’re working very hard and being evaluated all the time”.

3G Capital makes a strong case for mergers and acquisition, a branch that the Brazilian team has explored widely with Berkshire Hathaway. Their first deal together was the acquisition of the Canadian Tim Horton’s Burger King; 210 days later, in 2015, the company merged Heinz and Kraft to form The Kraft Heinz Company.

Learn more about the three friends that made it to Latin America’s top 10 richest people.

Jorge Lemann:

Described by Bloomberg as the world’s most interesting billionaire, Jorge Lemann is a recognized surfer, holder of a world record in underwater spearfishing and even has participant in Wimbledon.

The second richest man in Latin America started his career at Harvard University with a Bachelors of Arts with a major in Economics. After completing his studies in two years instead of three, Jorge Lemann founded his first company “Banco Garantia” which later he sold in order to be made into the beer market. In his preferred terrain, he earned control over the local brewery Brahma.

Brahma merged into AmBev which later became Anheuser-Busch InBev, a leader in the beer market worldwide.

Marcel Telles:

The second most important player in 3G Capital is Marcel Telles, the businessman who studied in the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and holds an OPM from Harvard University. His quest for success started in 1972 when he was hired by Banco Garantia for Investment Banking where he took an active role until the corporation was sold to Credit Suisse First Boston in 1998.

Being noticed by Jorge Lemann for his talent, Marcel Telles was hired as CEO of Brahma from 1989 to 1999. He has later served as a Board Member of Burger King, GP Investments, and Lojas Americanas.

Beto Sicupira:

The final element of the Brazilian trio is Beto Sicupira. After graduating from Business Administration from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, the soon-to-be magnate met Jorge Leman when he became a Partner of Banco de Investimentos Garantia from 1976 to 1998. After following the process all the way to Anheuser-Busch InBev, Beto Sicupira became a philanthropist who focused on education.

Beto Sicupira’s career is one of a manager and he’s excelled as to be a member of the board of dean’s advisors of the Harvard Business School since 1998.


Latin American Post | David Eduardo Rodríguez Acevedo

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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