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Diniz family business growth further cements Brazil’s dominant position

Brazil’s Grupo Pao de Acucar, controlled by the Diniz family, has notched up impressive third-quarter revenues for 2011 on the back of the country’s rapidly growing economy.
Diniz family business growth further cements Brazil's dominance

Brazil’s Grupo Pão de Acúcar, controlled by the Diniz family, has notched up impressive third-quarter revenues for 2011 on the back of the country’s rapidly growing economy.

The supermarket chain, headed by family member Abilio dos Santos Diniz, said in a statement that its net sales rose by 56% to R$11.08 billion (€4.5 billion), while its same-store revenues increased by more than 10% year-on-year.

Grupo Pão de Acúcar, which runs supermarkets, hypermarkets and home appliance stores, attributed much of the growth to its food retail business, which accounted for 15% of the rise in its third-quarter revenues.

The São Paulo-based company’s results are further proof that family businesses are reaping the rewards of the fast growth of Brazil. It also bodes well for the family business, which recently hit headlines over a battle of control between the founding family and French group Casino Guichard-Perrachon, which owns 44.6% of Grupo Pão de Acúcar.

The battle broke out when the Diniz family, which owns 21% of the business, said it was considering merging its operations with French retail giant Carrefour. But Casino vetoed the proposal and instead increased its stake from its earlier 33%.

Grupo Pão de Acúcar, also called Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao, was founded in 1948 and is listed on both the Sao Paulo and the New York Stock Exchange.

Its 74-year-old chairman Diniz, featured in CampdenFB’s list of top 50 family business leaders in the world, is known for being a recluse following his kidnap in 1989 when he was held captive for six days. Sons Joao Paulo and Pedro, daughter Ana Maria, and wife Geyza sit on the company board, which had 2010 revenues of R$ 36.1 billion.

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