Arcor's Bittersweet Success
With its home country crumpling around it, the Argentine confectionery company Arcor is remarkably solvent, thanks
to Luis Pagani, its farsighted president and LatinFinance's CEO of the Year.
The catastrophic mix of economic depression, sovereign
default and currency devaluation in Argentina over the last
year has leveled the country's banking system and bankrupted
thousands of companies. Argentina used to be Latin America's
wealthiest, most stylish and sophisticated and it is shocking -
even for locals - to see women and young children with pleading
eyes, whispering "cambio, cambio" in the streets. Homeless men
dig through garbage and push shopping carts around empty
nighttime streets in the swanky Puerto Madero district. There
are a few companies that have survived January's 70%
devaluation but fewer still are prospering amid the misery.
Arcor, a Buenos Aires food and candy company, is current on its
interest payments (it has only bank loans) and at midyear, was
still making a profit. Arcor is even financing clients to
prevent them from going out of business. The company is looking
after its employees as...
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