December 15, 2021
They came from imperial Russia and became kings of soybeans: the story behind Los Grobo
Abraham Grobocopatel arrived in Argentina in 1912 and his descendants created an empire whose visible face today is his great-grandson, Gustavo Grobocopatel.

They arrived in Argentina more than 100 years ago and the family name became a strong word in the agricultural business. The Grobocopatel forged their way from Imperial Russia to Carlos Casares, in Buenos Aires, and managed to transform their company into one of the giants of the Argentine countryside. During the last decade they had to reconvert and maneuver to avoid the crisis, but even today they continue to be a relevant player in the sector.

Abraham Grobocopatel left Bessarabia in 1910 to arrive in America, first in Brazil and then in Argentina. However, the patriarch of the family suffered from severe deafness, which prevented him from learning the language, so, at a very young age, his son Bernardo, who began working as a rural contractor, took a leading role. He was mainly dedicated to producing dry grass, which was used as fodder.

Step by step he made his way through the Casarense countryside. But it was not easy and she was only able to buy his first piece of land - some 146 hectares - in 1959 and soon she added his sons, Samuel and Adolfo, to the business. By 1965 the firm was already producing and marketing cereals and oilseeds. Two years later, after the death of Bernardo, Samuel, Adolfo and Jorge take the reins of the venture.

Birth of Los Grobo

Under the name of Grobocopatel Hermanos they became leaders in the area with more than 4,500 hectares under their care. This worked for a few years until the trio decided to split up. The first to become independent was Samuel, who chose to dedicate himself to production. Then it was the turn of Jorge, the youngest, who focused on the commercial leg and stayed with society. Meanwhile, Adolfo, with his eye on the productive vein, created Los Grobo Agropecuaria in 1984 with 3,500 hectares in his portfolio.

"In the late 80s and early 90s, the organization of the company and the great changes allowed to carry out very good real estate deals, buy cheap fields and sell them expensive. Fields that were paid in two harvests due to the increase in the price of grains and their sales opportunity, etc. This allowed the purchase of a lot of land and increased working capital, "said Gustavo Grobocopatel, who took over from his father, Adolfo, as number one in the company in 2001.

With its own storage and the implementation of direct sowing, Los Grobo boosted its growth within the grain business. It expanded in countries in the region, such as Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil, and also grew from the acquisition of complementary players to its segment. In 2001 he entered the milling business with the production of flour for family and industrial consumption and in 2013 he acquired Agrofina, dedicated to the development and sale of crop protection products.

The Grobocopatel businesses

The Los Grobo Group is currently made up of four business units. The flagship of the holding is Los Grobo Agropecuaria, which, in addition to the collection and commercialization of grains, also implements logistics solutions and technical advice. On the other hand, the company has Los Grobo Consulting, which does consulting and monitoring for agriculture. Agrofina and the flour mill are added to these.

Gustavo Grobocopatel served as president of the company until October 2020 when he resigned to settle in Uruguay. In the position he was replaced by Santiago Cotter. The businessman and his sister, Matilde, control 24% of the group's share package since the remaining percentage (76%) was acquired by the Victoria Capital Partners fund at the end of 2016.

To improve the operation of the firm in the last decade it disposed of several of its businesses. It sold its operation in Brazil and did the same with its pasta factory in Chivilcoy and its agtech Frontec, which was bought by Invap. Today the group has more than 600 employees and manages 220,000 hectares of agricultural production →

Automatic translation from spanish.

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