Corporate Milestones


Grupo Suez establishes a link with the Amorim Group

Grupo Suez, one of Europe's leading industrial and financial holding companies, through its subsidiaries, Compagnie du Suez (France), Société Générale de Belgique (Belgium) and Mercapital (Spain), establishes a link with the Amorim Group, by acquiring a 20% stake in Amorim Investimentos e Participações.

Acquisition of Sociedade Figueira Praia, S.A.

Acquisition of Sociedade Figueira Praia, S.A., the concessionaire of Casino da Figueira, owner of a vast set of real estate assets, including five hotel units, an urbanisation project for over 1000 homes, a casino, the Palácio Sotto-Mayor and bingo concessions in Leiria, Viseu and Aveiro. This serves as an instrument to stimulate tourism activities throughout the Centro region of Portugal.

Creation of Prisma

Creation of a new sub-holding of the Amorim Group, Prisma, dedicated to capital development, which brings together companies from different sectors, that are not integrated within its other structures.

Américo Amorim is appointed Honorary Consul of Hungary

Américo Amorim is appointed Honorary Consul of Hungary in Portugal.

Restructuring process of Alcobre - Condutores Elétricos, S.A.

Alcobre - Condutores Elétricos, SA, a subsidiary of the Amorim Group, begins a restructuring process that culminates, in 1992, with the inauguration of a new production unit in Ovar, thereby responding to the strict demands of the market, both in terms of quality, reliability and innovation.

Constitution of INOGI and COFIPSA

Incorporation of INOGI - Inovação e Gestão de Investimentos Imobiliários, S.A., a real estate company that results from a joint venture between the Amorim Group and ISM - Immobilière Suréne Montalivet. INOGI subsequently creates a group of specialised subsidiary companies: Morate, for development of projects; Espaço Urbano, for the development and construction of real estate venture - Selecta, for real estate leasing.

In March, COFIPSA is created, in response to Carlo de Benedetti's desire to create a financial holding company in Portugal, for which he chooses the Amorim Group as a partner. Its main objective is to invest in sectors that have strong growth and profitability potential, acquiring shareholdings in companies and create value by providing them with Cofipsa's expertise – industrial, on the part of Amorim, and financial, on the part of the other partners (Grupo Construcciones Y Contratas, Banco Bilbao-Viscaya and CISF). However various difficulties arise in attaining this objective and the fact that international partners are involved in this project leads the Amorim Group to withdraw from the project.

In 1989, Cofipsa also organises a major increase in its share capital to finance two major acquisitions:

  • Lusotur, Portugal’s biggest tourism project (Vilamoura);
  • Real Companhia Velha, one of the most traditional production and marketing companies of Port wine.

The Portuguese stock exchange is beginning to lose steam after its initial boom, but interesting one-off deals are still possible. In October, the Amorim Group acquires a stake in the first brokerage company established in Portugal, Socifa & Beta, which quickly becomes the country’s biggest insurance broker, simultaneously listed in the Lisbon and Porto Stock Exchanges.

Shareholdings are acquired in several companies in the financial services area: Credifin, a credits acquisition company, also owned by Soserfin, Banco Nacional Ultramarino and Cofinoga; Autoleasing, dedicated to long-term car rentals; and Lusofactor, a factoring company, acquired in association with Banco Nacional Ultramarino and Banco Hispano-Americano.

In view of the relevance that new technologies are likely to acquire in the future, assuming increased weight in Portugal’s GDP and economy, the first companies in this field are incorporated:

  • Intelnor, SGPS, S.A.;
  • OSI - Organização e Sistemas Informáticos, Lda., to respond to the Amorim Group's requirements in the field of Information Systems and Technologies.
Acquisition of the Fábrica de Veludos de Água Longa and position at Bank of Lisbon International

Acquisition of the factory of velvet fabrics, the Fábrica de Veludos de Água Longa, is another step in the diversification of the group’s business portfolio, this time in the production of decorative textiles. The company is immediately restructured and its name changed to Velpor - Veludo Português, S.A.

The Amorim Group acquires a stake in the Bank of Lisbon International, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Amorim Group's Corporate Restructuring and access to public sale offer

Major corporate restructuring of the Amorim Group, leading to the formation of AMORIM INVESTIMENTOS E PARTICIPAÇÕES, SGPS, SA, the Group’s principal holding company, and CORTICEIRA AMORIM, SGPS, SA, a sub-holding for all the companies related to the processing and commercialisation of cork. This paves the way to creating a major economic group, through diversification of the Amorim Group’s intervention areas within the Portuguese economy, in particular in the fields of industry, real estate, tourism and the financial sector

After the October 1987 stock market crash, the climate for new stock market operations is highly unfavourable. It is only due to the major prestige, strength and dynamism of the four companies - Amorim & Irmãos, Corticeira Amorim, Ipocork and Champcork - that it is possible to successfully launch the initial public offering in the stock exchange, on June 27, 1988, which generates total gross proceeds of PTE 4.3 billion.

Joint venture with the French group ACCOR

Joint venture with the French group ACCOR, the world's largest hotel operator, with 1908 hotels in 127 countries, 220,119 rooms, 5800 restaurants, and the owner of several internationally renowned brands: Novotel, Sofitel, Ibis, Mercure, Les Jardins de Paris, ETAP , Formule 1, Motel 6.

With varying shareholder positions, the two Groups create a series of companies to explore the various brands in the different segments: Portotel, to create the Novotel network; Portis, to create the IBIS network, Portimer, to convert existing hotels to the standards of the Mercure brand; and the opening of a Sofitel in Lisbon - Accor's premium seal.

Constitution of Lusoreste, to run commercial spaces in motorway service stations and install establishments under the various ACCOR catering brands therein.

Amorim Group becomes the main shareholder of Soserfin

In February, the Amorim Group becomes the main shareholder of Soserfin - Serviços Financeiros, Lda. - an international investment company, which also involves Banque Worms and the insurance company UAP. Initially constituted to provide services and consultancy in the area of ​​international financial management, in March 1990 it is transformed into an investment company.

Constitution of Banco Comercial Português, S.A.R.L.

The first Portuguese private commercial bank since the 1974 revolution, is incorporated by public deed in June 1985 – the Banco Comercial Português, S.A.R.L..

This public deed culminates a series of audacious and visionary conversations and negotiations, that began in February 1984, in Buçaco, between the Minister of Finance, Prof. Ernâni Lopes and a group of entrepreneurs, including Américo Ferreira de Amorim, who proposed the idea of ​​creating a private bank, which was the embryo of the future BCP.

In that same year, the first official meeting of the Promoter Group of a private commercial bank is held in the Palácio da Bolsa, in Porto, orchestrated by Américo Ferreira de Amorim. The meeting is followed by a formal request for the constitution of a new commercial bank, signed by Américo Ferreira de Amorim and Joaquim Ferreira de Amorim, in representation of the companies Corticeira Amorim and Amorim & Irmãos, and is also signed by ten other companies and important individual investors.

Américo Ferreira de Amorim subsequently declares: “I did not do this with the intention of creating an Amorim Bank, although I always wanted to be a permanent reference shareholder of the institution. I did it to create a bank for the country.”

Inauguration of Labcork, the Amorim Group’s Central Laboratory

Inauguration of Labcork, the Amorim Group’s Central Laboratory, in the presence of the then President of the Portuguese Republic, General Ramalho Eanes, who distinguishes Américo Ferreira de Amorim with the title of Commander of the Civil Order of Agricultural and Industrial Merit (Industrial Class).

He says: “The decision is obviously mine and I fully assume my decisions. And, to ensure that everyone in Portugal is aware of this fact, I would like to focus on the quality and importance of your work and, of course, the work of your team and employees.”

Creation of Amorim Trading - Comércio de Importação e Exportação, Lda.

Creation of Amorim Trading - Comércio de Importação e Exportação, Lda., dedicated to the international trade of several Portuguese products, including footwear, textiles and wines.

“We must keep in touch with the whole world, in order to promote trade and mutually exchanging things that are useful, establishing the best possible friendly relations with everyone,” comments Américo Amorim.

Creation of SPI - Sociedade Portuguesa de Investimentos

The Amorim Group is one of the founders of SPI - Sociedade Portuguesa de Investimentos (today the Banco BPI), a pioneering initiative, that has a well-defined purpose: to finance private sector investment projects, relaunch the capital market and foster modernisation of Portuguese businesses.

Américo Amorim was a member of SPI’s General Board.

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