A. Andronico Luksic
Andronico Luksic built his fortune by following a simple business dictum: “Follow the philosophy of the ant” – that is, focus on accomplishing little things, and soon you’ll move mountains. The Luksic Group has already moved some very big mountains.
The Group is into banking and brewing. It mints coins and mines copper. It serves school lunches and sells cellular phones. It encompasses six listed companies and scores of privately held companies. But is wasn’t always that way.
Andronico Luksic bought his first copper mine in 1954. At the same time, he purchased a stake in a Ford dealership that served the booming copper economy around his hometown of Anofagasta, Chile. By the end of the 1950’s, he had expanded his dealership into an equipment leasing company, serving the big mines of the region, and he controlled the agency. He also used part of the proceeds from the mine sale to venture into fishing, buying out Star-Kist’s local subsidiary.
His businesses prospered during the 1960’s when he made several important investments in mining and other companies. It was during this period that he gained control of the Lota Schwager coal mines and Madeco, the dominant copper products maker. In the 1970’s, the arrival of the Unidad Popular government marked the beginning of the expansion and internationalization of Andronico Luksic’s businesses. He began looking at opportunities outside Chile, and in particular, in Argentina. He sent some of his executives to open a Ford agency and an iron-ore mine in Brazil. He established a packaging company in Colombia. In 1990, he bought a copper manufacturing company in Argentina and several other firms.
Today, Andronico Luksic heads Chile’s first truly multinational corporation. The Luksic Group owns Chile’s largest brewery, Cia Cerveceria Unidas; Madeco, the copper products company; and a major food products group, Empresas Lucchetti. The Group’s assets also include the railway that ties the country’s copper belt to the sea, two large banks – Banco O’Higgins and Banco de Santiago – a telecommunications company, several mines, ranches, and one of Santiago’s finest hotels, the Carrera. Currently, the Luksic Group consists of more than 50 companies with assets of $9 billion.
Andronico Luksic has demonstrated that hard work, determination, a keen eye for business, and the ability to “follow the philosophy of the ant” can bring success in a variety of areas.