Who Is Jorge Paulo And How Will He Make Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Even More Money?
In the world of Wall Street, there's not much higher praise than a vote of confidence from Warren Buffett himself. In his recent annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) shareholders, Buffett specifically mentioned Swiss-Brazilian banker Jorge Paulo Lemann by name, claiming, "We feel good when working with Jorge Paulo."
Who is Jorge Paulo Lemann, and what is he doing for Berkshire shareholders?
Lemann is a Swiss-Brazilian banker and Brazil's richest man. According to Bloomberg, Lemann's net worth as of February 2015 is $25.3 billion.
Lemann graduated from Harvard in 1961 and went on to found GP Investmentos with several partners. The private equity firm eventually bought control of two South American breweries that, through a series of acquisitions, mergers and name changes, eventually became InBev.
InBev purchased Anheuser-Busch in 2008 for $46 billion, forming the new company Anheuser-Bush InBev (NYSE: BUD), and making Lemann one of the world's kings of beer.
In addition to the beer business, Lemann played a critical role in the fate of a major American fast food chain: Burger King. After the company's stock plummeted during the Financial Crisis, Lemann's private equity firm 3G Capital purchased Burger King and took the company private.
When Burger King became public once again in 2012, 3G retained 71 percent ownership in the company.
It was Burger King that first brought Lemann and Buffett together. In August of 2014, Burger King merged with Canadian restaurant chain Tim Hortons, and the merger was backed by Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.
What exact role will 3G play in future dealings with Berkshire?
According to Buffett, "Our favored arrangement… will usually be to link up as a permanent equity partner (who, in some cases, contributes to the financing of the deal as well)."
For now, shareholders will have to wait to see the next project on which these two billionaires will collaborate.
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