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date: 19 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

As in many other countries, business groups in Brazil are typically owned by families and owe much of their evolution and weight in the national economy to government policies. Nonetheless, their structures and strategies seem to present some idiosyncrasies. Focusing on the context wherein business groups in Brazil emerged and have evolved, this article endeavors to shed some light on why their structures and strategies exhibit some peculiarities. As a rule, the current main Brazilian business groups typically originated before 1960; were either founded or strongly supported, through various types of subsidies, by the state; have one ultimate controlling shareholder owning a great number of firms through pyramidal schemes; started to target more systematically export markets only in the 1970s and 1980s; and only after 1990 have pursued a strategy of direct investment abroad.

Keywords: government policies, Brazilian business groups, shareholder, pyramidal schemes, export markets

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