|Sonae SGPS S.A.|
|Phone:||+35 22 948 75 22|
|Fax:||+35 22 948 77 22|
|Address:||Lugar do Espido Via Norte, Apartado 1011, 4471-909 Maia, Portugal|
|Subsidiaries:||Sonae Industria, Sonae Distribuição, Sonae Sierra, Sonaecom, Sonae Capital|
Sonae SGPS S.A. is a Portugese company with a portfolio of businesses that range from retail and real estate activities through to wood products, tourism, fixed and mobile telecommunications, construction, transport, the media and risk capital.
Sonae is the largest private employer in Portugal with a strong appeal to senior managers and young graduates.
Following the merger which took place in 1999, Sonae SGPS manages a portfolio of businesses whose activities are managed by five sub-holdings:
- Sonae Industria - Wood panels, forestry and sawmills
- Sonae Distribuição - Food and non-food retail
- Sonae Sierra - Ownership, management and development of shopping centres
- Sonaecom - Fixed and mobile telecommunications
- Sonae Capital (Sonae Participações Financeiras) - Tourism, Construction, transport and risk capital
The company's president, co-founder and main owner is Belmiro de Azevedo, one of the most influent Portuguese businessman and a Forbes fortunes figure.
The formal management body of Sonae SGPS SA is the Board of Directors. Over and above the Boards of Directors of the holding and subholding companies, and to ensure greater synergy of capabilities and key competencies, the following non-statutory bodies exist:
- Board Members Board Members Forum (composed of Board Members from the holding and sub-holding companies)
- Global Advisory Board, made up of well known figures from the business and academic world both from within and outside Portugal, and a source of independent opinion to support decisions of the Board of Directors;
- Horizontal Projects (made up of staff from different sub-Holdings and dealing with a common subject such as the environment, energy etc. They are co-ordinated by a member of the Board Members Forum).
SONAE was founded in 1959, in Maia, Portugal in the wood products business and more specifically the production of high-pressure decorative laminates. During its first twenty years of existence, Sonae developed as a small to medium size business, focused on the area of wood derivatives.
During the 1980s, the company began a period of rapid growth, which coincided with Portugal's entry in to the European Union. During this period, the company began a process of diversification through the acquisition of a supermarket chain, followed by the launch of the first hyper-market in Portugal.
The creation of Sonae Real Estate, represented a natural progression, its main objective being the construction of shopping centres next to Sonae stores. Sonae Real Estate was responsible for CascaiShopping - the first regional shopping center ever built in Portugal.
At the same time, Sonae invested in many different areas such as communication, information technology, leisure and tourism.
In 1996, the new challenge of international expansion of its different businesses and the need to concentrate management resources in their development, were foreseen. It was thus decided that all businesses of Sonae Industria (already present in Spain, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil and South Africa), and those of Pargeste (made up of non strategic activities) should be separated from Sonae Investimentos.
As a result, Sonae Investimentos became a holding company totally dedicated to modern retail business, and a new holding, Inparsa, was formed grouping together all wood derivatives businesses (Sanae Industria) and all other non strategic activities.
In September 1999, and as a result of the absorption of Inparsa and Figeste into Sonae SGPS SA (formerly known as Sonae Investimentos SPGS SA), Sonae benefited from the systematic use of its name across the group as well as gaining critical mass in European terms.
The role of Sonae SGPS SA is to manage the portfolio while it is the job of the its sub-holdings to manage the businesses.