Brazil

Erling Lorentzen  

  • Former CEO, Aracruz Celulose (Pulp and Paper)
Born Oslo, Norway, 1923. MBA, Harvard Business School (1948).
“[W]e managed to build a special port in the country. Part of the government… said, ‘There are sufficient ports …’ But I got it through … it was one of the bases for the success of Aracruz. ”

Video Clips

Lorentzen describes the difficulty in getting financing for his business during times of inflation and political instability.

Lorentzen describes how it was difficult to find international financing to expand his business.

 Full-length video (accessible to holders of a valid Harvard ID)

Transcript

Erling Lorentzen relates his experience growing up in Norway as part of family of shipping magnates and industrialists, his service during World War II, his educational experience at Harvard Business School, his marriage into the Norwegian royal family, and his eventual move to Brazil in 1953. There, he pursued a career in the petroleum industry and in shipping. In 1968, he founded the Aracruz Celulose company, which became a massive manufacturer of pulp and paper. Lorentzen oversaw the construction of the largest pulp mill in Brazil and the acquisition of large forestry operations. He describes the difficulty of growing the business amid periods of rapid inflation, the challenges of raising money overseas (including by becoming the first Brazilian company listed on New York Stock Exchange), and by facing and confronting issues of sustainability.

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Resources

  • Videotape of HBS interview, September 1, 2003, Tape number 10763, available at: http://www.hbs.edu/entrepreneurs/erlinglorentzen.html
  • Antoine van Agtmael, The Emerging Markets Century: How A New Breed of World-Class Companies Is Overtaking the World.  Free Press, c.2007.
  • Video file of this interview available at Baker Library Historical Collections, histcollref+hbs.edu. Harvard ID holders can access the full-length video above.

  • Interview citation: "Interview with Erling Lorentzen, interviewed by Aldo Musacchio, July 4, 2013, Creating Emerging Markets Project, Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, http://www.hbs.edu/businesshistory/emerging-markets/."