SAO PAULO, BRAZIL — El Tejar, one of the world’s top grain producers, has moved its headquarters from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Sao Paulo, Brazil, The Financial Times reported on April 25.
The company also announced on April 24 a new chief executive officer, Luis Kaufmann, who has been in place since March 11. Kaufmann, a Brazilian, replaced Horacio Ackermann, an Argentinean, who decided to “devote his time to personal projects,” the company said. He is still connected with the company as the first member of the consulting council it is creating.
“We are focusing our efforts into improving productivity and being more efficient, after many years of fast growth,” the company said in a news release. “Our goal is to accomplish our mission of producing agricultural goods with an adequate profitability for the invested capital and of exploring other opportunities in the value chain of the agribusiness sector.”
Kaufmann has experience in running, organizing and leading large business groups; and, more specifically, he has knowledge and background to achieve a sustainable and fruitful growth. He has a master’s degree in industrial engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and he graduated in mechanical engineering from the Universidad Federal de Paraná, Brazil.
The Financial Times said El Tejar’s move to Brazil is the culmination of a shift in its strategy from leasing to owning farmland.
The land purchases had been made possible with the capital injection from financial backers. London-based hedge fund Altima Partners invested in the company in 2006, building a 40% stake since then, while U.S. private equity firm Capital Group invested in 2009, and owns a 15% stake, the newspaper reported. The remaining stake is held by the founding families and institutions.
The Financial Times said since the death of founder Oscar Alvarado in 2010, the company has accelerated its purchases of farmland, especially in Brazil. About 65% of El Tejar’s operational assets are in Brazil, and it is now one of the top producers of soybeans in the country.
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