Santo Resources is the holding company and non-financial arm of the Espirito
Santo Group, a
125 year-old Portuguese family dynasty. Chairman Manuel Fernando
Espirito Santo Silva explains where the company stands today and
where it is going. Our main business is tourism, real estate, agro-industry,
wholesale food distribution and e-commerce. Our expansion plans are focused
on tourism and real estate both internationally and in Portugal.
To what do you attribute your international success?
A: When we go abroad we work with local partners. You
cannot be a major player at the international level if you stand alone.
Do you consider yourself a global company?
A: Yes, but we are mainly on the Iberian Peninsula and
in Latin America. In Portugal we are growing in tourism and we have
real estate developments in Lisbon and Porto. In Brazil we have large
coffee plantations and in Paraguay 39,000 cattle and rice fields. We
are also investing in Africa, but the third side of our business triangle
is the construction of Espirito Santo Plaza in Miami.
Miami is your link between Latin America and Portugal then?
A: Thats right. Espirito Santo Plaza in Miami, consists
of a five-star hotel, apartments, offices, parking, tennis court, and
health club. It is a wonderful complex and our biggest statement yet
that we believe in the future of our Latin American holdings.
And in what direction is that future taking you?
A: Further into tourism. We recently acquired the Tivoli
hotel chain and established Top Atlantico, our travel agency and tour
operator. We have also bought properties in the Algarve. We believe
Brazil will be one of the major tourist destinations so we intend to
invest further there.
What importance do you attach to IT in your future plans?
A: Its here to stay and any large company should
be involved. We will continue to develop tourism-related e-business
through BES.com and our growing relationship with Portuguese Telecom.