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#80 Marcel Telles $14.4B

Random fact: Rose from "office boy" to head trader at Lemann's investment bank.


Telles is a shareholder of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest beer maker, with billionaire partners Jorge Paulo Lemann and Carlos Alberto Sicupira. The trio are shareholders in Kraft Heinz and Restaurant Brands International, the company behind Burger King. They also control retailer Lojas Americanas and developer Sao Carlos.

As of July 22, 2017:
Last change -$50.9M (-0.3%)
YTD change +$1.56B (+12.2%)
Industry Food & Beverage
Biggest asset ABI BB Equity
Citizenship Brazil
Age 67
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Marcel Telles's net worth of $14.4B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

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Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Telles's wealth is derived from a 4 percent stake in publicly traded Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest beermaker. His stake is disclosed in the company's 2016 annual report and filings to Brazilian regulators by Ambev, a subsidiary.

Along with his partners, Carlos Alberto Sicupira and Jorge Paulo Lemann he controls New York-based investment firm 3G Capital. Ownership in 3G's Cayman Islands-based funds and the stakes it has in some of its biggest investments haven't been disclosed. Telles's 3G stake is calculated to be 25 percent based on disclosed stakes in the 3G partners' publicly disclosed investments, including Lojas Americanas, Sao Carlos and Ambev. The shares are controlled through holding companies domiciled in the Bahamas, Brazil, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, Jersey, the Netherlands and the U.S.

The valuation considers the firm's 43 percent voting interest in Restaurant Brands International, disclosed in an April 26, 2017 proxy, as economic interest. 3G partnered with Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway to put up $4.1 billion in equity financing for the $23 billion acquisition of condiment maker Heinz in 2013. The buyout company and Berkshire agreed in 2015 to pay a $10 billion special dividend to Kraft Foods shareholders as part of a merger with the ketchup maker, according to a statement by Heinz.

They like control when they invest, said Luiz Cezar Fernandes, who founded Banco Garantia with them in the 70s. While a 3G fund sought to raise $5 billion ahead of the Kraft Heinz deal, the partners also contributed equity of their own, said a person familiar with the deal who asked not to be identified because he wasn't authorized to speak on the matter. The valuation assumes they have 50.1 percent of 3G’s stakes in Kraft Heinz and Restaurant Brands, and that they used dividends paid by Ambev before its 2004 merger with Interbrew to fund acquisitions.


Birthdate: 2/23/1950
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: Economics, Universidade DO Rio de Janeiro, Bachelor's Degree

Marcel Herrmann Telles was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1950, to a pilot father and housewife mother. He studied economics at Rio's Federal University, landing at the Garantia brokerage after school. Carlos Alberto Sicupira joined the firm a year later. Under the stewardship of Jorge Paulo Lemann -- who used the Goldman Sachs partnership model as his inspiration -- Garantia quickly became Brazil's premier investment bank. The three remain partners in business deals today.

They made one of their longest-standing investments in 1982, with the takeover of Lojas Americanas SA, a chain of retail stores that is now among the largest in Brazil. The trio acquired Cia. Cervejaria Brahma seven years later, in their first foray into the beer industry.

Following more than $100 million in trading losses on restructured government debt, Garantia was sold to Credit Suisse, netting the partners $675 million in cash and stock in 1998. The "three musketeers," as they are sometimes called, turned their focus to acquisitions. They combined a series of Latin American brewers into Brahma, which became AmBev in 1999. Through buyout firm GP Investimentos, which they founded in 1993, they also bought, turned around and sold companies such as railroad operator ALL.

The trio sold GP to junior partners in 2004, the same year they engineered Ambev's $11 billion merger with Belgium's Interbrew. They followed that up in 2008, with the $52 billion union of Interbrew with Anheuser-Busch, which created AB InBev, the world's largest brewer. Ambev, now a subsidiary of AB InBev's successor, Newbelco, is publicly traded in Brazil. Through New York-based 3G Capital, Lemann and his partners bought stock in U.S. rail company CSX in 2007 and waged a proxy fight for control of the board, ultimately abandoning the investment in 2010 (at a profit). That same year they completed the leveraged buyout of Burger King Holdings, putting up $1.5 billion in cash, funded in part by former Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista. They flipped a 29 percent stake for $1.4 billion to William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management in 2012. Burger King returned to being a public company in June of that year.

With Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, 3G agreed to acquire condiment maker Heinz for about $23 billion in February 2013.

  • 1972 Telles joins Jorge Paulo Lemann's Garantia.
  • 1973 Carlos Alberto Sicupira joins Telles and Lemann at Garantia.
  • 1982 Lemann, Telles and Sicupira take over Lojas Americanas.
  • 1989 The trio acquire local brewer Cervejaria Brahma.
  • 1993 Telles and partners found buyout firm GP Investimentos.
  • 2004 Ambev's $11 billion merger with Interbrew is engineered by the trio.
  • 2008 The trio direct InBev's $52 billion merger with Anheuser-Busch.
  • 2013 3G and Berkshire Hathaway agree to buy Heinz for $23 billion.