The food business is a lucrative sector with few but powerful players. Most times, people only know big food brands without knowing the names behind them. Today, we are going to look at a food investor who is currently the richest man in Brazil.
Meet Jorge Paulo Lemann
Jorge Paulo Lemann is Brazil’s richest man with a net worth of $20.3 billion according to Forbes. His biggest sources of wealth include his large stake in the world’s largest brewer, AB InBev and stakes in other major global food brands. He attended Harvard University and its business school where he studied Economics.
Lemann started his career as an intern in the Swiss finance firm, Credit Suisse and later, ventured into the world of investment banking.
His first investment was a 2% stake in a company called Invesco, in 1966, but the company later went bankrupt.
Paulo Lemann collaborated with Marcel Herrmann Telles and Carlos Alberto Sicupira in 1971 to start up the investment bank that ultimately made him a billionaire.
Banco Garancia, as the bank was called, became one of the biggest investment banks in Brazil. Lemann sold it to Credit Suisse Boston for $675 million, in 1998. He then proceeded to acquire three fledgling brewing companies and merged them into what has become the world’s largest brewer, AB InBev.
Other brands owned by Paulo Lemann
Paulo Lemann has invested in a couple of global food brands including Burger King and Canadian coffee maker, Tim Hortons.
In 2013, Leman’s private equity firm, 3G Capital and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought H.J. Heinz & Company.
In 2016 AB InBev acquired SABMiller Plc at a whopping $100 billion, together with other beer brands associated with it.
What you should know
Paulo Lemann once worked as a business journalist with Brazil’s oldest Newspaper, Jornal do Brasil.
Paulo Lemann was once an avid tennis player and even ventured into a professional career. In his youth, he became a five-time national champion and via his dual citizenship, represented both Brazil and Switzerland in the Davis Cup.