Jorge Paulo Lemann is undoubtedly the most accomplished Brazilian to have ever lived abroad, even if you haven't heard of him. Lemann, a Harvard-educated billionaire, has been dubbed the "conqueror of America" due to his ownership stakes in well-known American businesses like Burger King, H. J. Heinz Company, and Anheuser-Busch InBev, the manufacturer of Budweiser beer, which he acquired through his 3G Capital investment fund along with Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. Many Americans may find that moniker weird because they are used to seeing American corporations acquire foreign companies rather than the reverse.
Lemann, who is currently the richest person in Brazil, along with his longstanding partners and friends billionaires Marcel Herrmann Telles and Carlos Alberto Sicupira, experienced their first huge breakthrough at the investment bank Banco Garantia, which they established in 1971 and marketed to Credit Suisse First Boston in 1998 for $675 million. Lemann and his associates at Banco Garantia acquired the Brazilian brewery that would become AmBev. In 2004, it amalgamated with Interbrew of Belgium, and this action led to the founding of Inbev.
Lemann gained notoriety in 2008 when Inbev purchased Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion to become AB-InBev, the biggest brewer in the world, which the businessman owns a 10% interest in. In 2010, once Lemann, Telles, and Sicupira, under 3G Capital, acquired Burger King Holdings for $3.3 billion, his taste for American corporations returned.
The two billionaires, known only as "Owl" and "Goose" throughout the deliberations to purchase the 144-year-old American iconic brand, came to an agreement on the terms of the $23 billion buyout earlier this year, which led to their cooperation to purchase Heinz. The total transaction value, including the debt they took on, is $28 billion.
So what is Jorge Paulo Lemann's recommended business strategy?
The book "Sonho Grande" (Big Dream), by Brazilian journalist Cristiane Correa, which had its formal release in April, describes Lemann's narrative.
For 12 years, Correa served as the executive editor of Exame, the largest business publication in Brazil. In his writings, he discussed, among several other items, how the billionaire still adheres to a set of guidelines that he and his partners developed when they first started Banco Garantia and that they believe are essential for achieving success in business. It is evident that they treat employees as valuable assets and practise proactive price reduction in order to raise capital for expansion and purchases.
It's also obvious that Lemann, a renowned Wimbledon champion tennis player, was set to play a significant role in the global mergers and acquisitions scene, which also represents the emergence of Brazil as a worldwide economic force. Lemann and his partners benefited from a booming domestic economy at home, and he utilised his success to become the aggressive acquirer of American businesses he is today.
Lemann, who is reportedly worth $17.8 billion according to FORBES' most recent list of the world's billionaires, is believed to have introduce the idea to purchase Heinz and took it up to Buffett, who replied it was "my sort of deal." The two, who have been close friends for a long time, originally connected while serving on the board of Gillette, a company in which Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway owns stock. Prior to InBev's takeover attempt, Berkshire Hathaway also had a sizeable interest in Anheuser-Busch, which Buffett unfortunately thought would not succeed.
Check out the 20 Rules for Business Success by Jorge Paulo Lemann:
1. The most significant and distinctive asset of a business is a group of talented individuals working together toward common objectives.
2. Finding, developing, and retaining good employees is a never-ending struggle for all shareholders.
3. Wages for employees should be motivating, equitable, and stable with the business as a whole.
4. The evaluation of employees is a crucial and beneficial component of the business.
5. The primary responsibility of a company's leaders is to select individuals who can carry on the business even in the absence of the leaders.
6. Leadership is demonstrated through the daily example in even the minutest detail and by having clear ideas.
7. While debating is important, everything that is considered needs to be overseen by someone, and ultimately a choice needs to be made.
8. Common sense is far more valuable than sophisticated concepts. Complexity is never preferable to simplicity.
9. A successful company constantly seeks to advance. No matter how successful something is, it can always be done better. A long-lasting competitive edge is thus guaranteed.
10. Always try to cut expenses. You have power over that since it assures your survival.
11. Useful innovations are those that add value. However, it is far more useful to replicate what is effective.
12. Continual efforts to improve and educate employees must be incorporated into daily operations of businesses.
13. Only make news appearances with specific objectives.
14. Be totally focused. Focus on what's most important.
15. Key data circulated through communication and transparency helps educate, unify the team, and gain a competitive edge.
16. Be grateful for the rearguard.
17. It's crucial to act morally at all times.
18. It takes a lot of work to establish a reputation that can vanish overnight.
19. You must travel the entire rainbow, but do so while making money along the way, in order to reach the pile of money at the end of the rainbow.
20. Everyone can work better together when they have a big, difficult, and shared dream.
If you want to succeed, these commandments will definitely motivate you to get up and work harder. Join Spiking to get expert guidance to embark on your investment journey.
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