The Brazilian billionaire who bought Heinz and Burger King is trying to strike a ~$250 billion deal

Jorge Lemann

Jorge Lemann is behind some of America’s most iconic consumer brands.

The Brazilian billionaire’s investment company, 3G Capital, has invested in or backed takeovers of Kraft, Heinz, Burger King, Tim Hortons, Anheuser Busch and SAB Miller.

Now, Kraft Heinz — which counts Lemann and Warren Buffett among its top shareholders — is pushing for a deal for Unilever.

Unilever has rejected the approach, but Kraft said in a statement that is is looking “forward to working to reach agreement on the terms of a transaction.” Unilever said in a statement is does not see a basis for any further discussions.

A deal would put a huge chunk of the world’s best known brands in the hands of one company.

Combinations of large consumer companies are Lemann’s signature: 3G created the world’s fifth-largest food company by investing $10 billion into a merger of Kraft and Heinz, and engineered a fast-food giant after buying Burger King in 2010 for $3.3 billion and putting it together with Tim Hortons for another $11.3 billion.

“I think above all you must always be building something,” he says in this video interview with Falconi Consultants posted on YouTube. “We always want to arrive somewhere, to improve, and we are always trying to get there by making things better around us … these are the things that guide me.”

The Harvard graduate has gone from journalist to national tennis champion to banker and now billionaire investor with a net worth of over $29 billion, according to Forbes. Here’s his story:

This is an updated version of an article published earlier this month about Jorge Lemann.

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Lemann was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1939. His father was a Swiss businessman who immigrated to Brazil in the 1920s. His family had been Swiss cheese merchants for over 300 years.

His mother was from a family of cocoa merchants in Bahia, who were more ambitious, Lemann said during the interview with Falconi. That was where he got his drive.

At 17, he left Brazil to attend Harvard, earning his bachelor’s degree in economics in 1961. At first, he didn’t like it there and didn’t do well — he loved the beaches of Brazil. But his mother stopped him from leaving Harvard to become a surfer or a tennis player.

Now he has a great relationship with Harvard, setting up scholarships for Brazilian students.

Harvard even recommended that he take a yearlong break from school because he wasn’t mature enough. Instead, Lemann finished school in three years by interviewing students, professors, and looking at old tests before choosing a class. He was 20 when he graduated.

Though he now regrets not taking more advantage of the faculty at Harvard, for example speaking with Henry Kissinger or Paul Samuelson, according to a speech Lemann made to his foundation, Estudar, translated by Forbes.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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