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Brahma versus Antartica: Reversal of Fortune in Brazil's Beer Market

Publication Year



The case is set in June 1999 as Marcel Telles, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Brahma – the largest brewer in Brazil – considers a possible merger with Brazil’s number to brewer Antarctica. The case provides a concise overview of the Brazilian beer market and Brazil’s volatile macroeconomic and regulatory context and summarizes the century-long rivalry between Brahma and Antarctica. For a century, Antarctica led Brahma in terms of market share, profitability, new product introductions and management innovations, although the two brewers were roughly comparable in size. Under Telles’ leadership, however, Brahma pulled ahead of its rival in the span of a decade. The case explores the reasons for this dramatic reversal of fortune, and describes in detail the actions Telles and his top management team took to change Brahma’s culture, set and execute operational improvements, and create value despite Brazil’s volatile market.

Topic List

Change management, Corporate turnarounds, Mergers & Acquisitions, Organisational development


Beer; Consumer goods; Soft drinks

LBS Case Number




Project Funder

Houblon-Norman Fund|Bank of England

Available on ECCH


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