U.S. managers need not look as far as China or India to spot rivals. Advances in economic reform, technology, education, and management prowess in Latin American countries have propelled some the region's largest companies into leading positions globally. Brazil's JBS, for example, became the world's largest meat processor after buying a majority stake in chicken producer Pilgrim's Pride and merging with milk products, beef, and leather company Bertin in 2009. Many of these giants continue to thrive in the downturn, with several posting double-digit growth in the third quarter. Based on average yearly sales growth from 2004 to 2009, Boston Consulting Group ranked the world's 25 fastest-growing multinational Latin American companies, what it calls "Multilatinas." Annual sales of each company on this list have been growing at an average of 16 percent or more.
to see the 25 fastest-growing Multilatina companies, ranked in ascending order. Gross revenue figures are for 2009.*
Editor's note: There are 25 companies on the list, but because of ties, Businessweek.com ranked them from No. 1 only through No. 19.