Find out which American Brands are now owned by Brazilian Companies

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Brazilian businesses are buying up U.S. companies

By: Claudia Repsold

In recent years, Brazilian companies have acquired famous American brands. Most Americans do not realize that when they order a hamburger at Burger King or a fried Cajun chicken at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, they are doing it at a fast food chain owned by Brazilian’s multibillion-dollar investment firm – 3G Capital.

Established American brands are extremely valuable to foreign companies. Building a reputation in U.S, which is one of the largest consumer markets in the world, can take decades, if it can be done at all. Many of these brands are not just iconic American names because they were founded and developed in the U.S., but also because they marketed themselves over the years as pure American brand.

Budweiser beer, introduced by Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis in 1876, is the most widely-known American beer brand. In 2008, Anheuser-Busch was purchased by Belgian-Brazilian conglomerate InBev. The company continued to market Budweiser as American, and even introduced an “American Ale” the same year, although that line has been discontinued.

The United States remains the largest single recipient of foreign direct investment in the world. Investments by foreign companies played an essential role in US’s economy. Most of the American acquisitions by Brazilian companies have centered mostly on large-scale industries, such as beer, meatpacking, fast-food, oil and chemicals.

American Companies owned by Brazilians

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 Budweiser: bought for $52 billion by ABInBev, Brazil & Belgium 

In 2008, August Busch IV sold the American beer company to ABInBev of Brazil for $52 billion. A marketing strategy by InBev now labels the can with “America” instead of “Budweiser,” but make no mistake, the beer is owned by a Brazilian organization.

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 Burger King: bought for $3.3 billion by 3G Capital, Brazil

In 1954, Insta Burger King was opened in Miami by David Edgarton, and three months later, he was matched in capital by Jim McLamore. After going public in 2006, Burger King was purchased by 3G Capital of Brazil for $3.3 billion in 2008 and again becoming a private entity.

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Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen: bought for $3.3 billion by 3G Capital/ Restaurant Brands International, Brazil 

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen was founded in New Orleans, in 1972 but its Cajun spiced fried chicken spread to 500 outlets worldwide. On 2017, Restaurant Brands International, a 3G Capital’s company, announced a deal to buy Popeyes for US$1.8 billion. 

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Swift: bought for $ 1.4 billion by JBS, Brazil

Swift Foods is the third-largest processor of beef and pork in the U.S. After JBS acquired Swift, the Brazilian multinational corporation became the largest beef company in the world and the biggest foreign meat company on U.S. soil.

Pilgrim's Pride products

Pilgrim Pride: bought for $800 million by JBS, Brazil

Pilgrim’s Pride was the U.S’s largest chicken producer before it filed for bankruptcy protection. The company sold 64% of its stock to the Brazilian meat company, JBS, for $800 million in cash. The deal allowed Pilgrim’s Pride emerges from bankruptcy protection. In 2016, Pilgrim acquired GNP Company; a leading provider of premium branded chicken products in the Upper Midwest, in an all cash, $350 million transaction.

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Keystone Food: bought for $1.25 billion by Marfrig, Brazil

The Brazilian meatpacker Marfrig agreed to acquire Keystone Foods for $1.25 billion. As a result, the Brazilian firm will now become a key supplier to all-American fast-food chains like Subway and McDonald’s.


Claudia Repsold

Claudia Repsold is editor-in-chief of Brazil & US BIZ. She is an award-winning Brazilian journalist with twenty years of experience in International News. She is a passionate storyteller who loves traveling, hiking and learn about natural healing.


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