Everyone knows where their local Burger King is, that fries don’t go down well without Heinz Ketchup and that a week-end is not a week-end without some beers. Here’s what many American consumers don’t know - that Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann is the Padrino of America’s most iconic consumer brands.
The 77-year-old former tennis champ and Harvard grad heads 3G Capital which either invests or out right owns: Anheuser Busch, Burger King, Heinz, Kraft and SAB Miller. The combined value of the companies Lemann and his partners run is $187 billion.
And Lemann isn’t done!
3G Capital, currently the fifth largest-food company in the world, is now gunning for Unilever. Unilever owns over 400 brands that include Dove, Knorr and Lipton. Lemann’s passion for running food businesses has paid off, he is Brazil’s richest man with a net worth of $29 billion.
Food is in the blood of this Rio de Janeiro native. His father, a Swiss immigrant, came from a long line of dairy merchants. Lemann credits his passion for sports and his tennis career for his focus and discipline having competed in the Davis Cup for his native country, Brazil and Switzerland his grandparent’s homeland.
The key to his success is having his companies live by the following mantra: “Costs are like fingernails; they need to be cut constantly.” Unlike other billionaires including the current U.S. President – Lemann is private, avoids press at all costs, and is relatively frugal.
Lemann now resides in Switzerland full-time after a failed but violent kidnapping attempt of three of his five children in the streets of Sao Paulo in 1999.
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