If you want to know the influence of a businessman, see your list of friends, but if you want to measure your strength, look at your enemies. Pedro Queiroz Pereira had a short list of great enemies, with whom he had to deal with powerful and surgical attacks. He was not a man of 100 years of wars, he preferred six-day wars, of which the end won or lost – and he went on. In the list of Queiroz Pereira are many names, but none as strong as the last one he hardly helped to topple: Ricardo Salgado. After all, as Queiroz Pereira would later say, Salgado was not even the Owner of Everything, "he was everything." Pedro Queiroz Pereira died this Saturday when he was on holiday in Ibiza, Spain. According to preliminary autopsy findings, the businessman was the victim of a heart attack, followed by a fall.
Pedro Queiroz Pereira's attack on the Espírito Santo case was just as discrete as frontal: he hired a team of 16 lawyers to investigate the full-time GES accounts and discovered in record time what nobody ever knew or seemed to want to know: what supposed to be a powerhouse held by power, was a bottomless pit that drank money and falsified the bills … by power bet. Mountain GES nor rat pariah, only consumes money as a Ponzi scheme. In a few weeks Pedro Queiroz Pereira made a file and warned the Bank of Portugal. It was late summer 2013, almost a year before the last crash. Pedro Queiroz Pereira did not act alone, but without him the others would not have discovered so quickly what was discovered later. Too late for those who lost billions of euros. Do not be too late for him, you have what you wanted: and no, it was not revenge, it was the control of your own group, as we will explain.
Nobody made Salgado's bed, Salgado made the bed where he lay. What others did was undo this bed: Queiroz Pereira was the shareholder in Switzerland who discovered the accounts, José Maria Ricciardi, the relative who attacked Salgado, Álvaro Sobrinho, the former accomplice in Angola, who revolted, Fernando Ulrich, the competitor in Lisbon who previously warned the Bank of Portugal, Carlos Costa the governor who managed the processes in oversight, Carlos Tavares the regulator who forced to publish the bills, Passos Coelho the prime minister who said no to the request for terminal assistance, Judge Carlos Alexandre and prosecutor Rosário Teixeira led (and led) judicial investigations – and several journalists investigated (and investigated) the thousands of tentacles of the GES animal. They all had interventions of different importance, but without them the GES process would have been different. And the first axis was fired by Pedro Queiroz Pereira.
We must not forget that the accounts of BES were public and controlled, while those of GES were exactly the opposite, even secret for its shareholders. Every year Salgado met the shareholders of GES in Switzerland for a meeting full of splendor but empty information. The family controlled a cascade of interests that started at ES Control, the top holding of GES, and with which it could control the bank with less than 5% of its capital. There were more shareholders above. Many rich of Portugal. Including the family Queiroz Pereira. Pedro, the leader of the family, already had problems with Salgado, he found those annual meetings a spectacle of dolls – or dolls. But it was when he felt attacked that he was attacking. Pedro Queirós Pereira discovered an alliance between his sister Maude, his cousins Carrelhas and Ricardo Salgado, who always denied them, and was convinced that the BES leader wanted to take charge of his group, Semapa.
For Pedro, the goal was clear: Salgado wanted to take over Semapa in order to take over the more than 500 million cashflow released annually by the company, to continue to feed the discretely dependent GES and its (still unknown) debt mountain. The plan of Queiroz Pereira would expire: he set up a business plan and made his mother a hostile agreement with his sister, who in turn was misled by his brother, because he had signed a cross-over role in which he renounced power in the group without realizing; and then confronted Salgado until he got what he wanted, separated the groups, and exchanged the actions that GES had in Semapa (40%) for Queiroz Pereira's shares in GES (7.67%). When he succeeded, he wrote a letter to the Bank of Portugal stating that he had nothing to say about GES, suggesting that the deal was concluded in exchange for a non-aggression agreement with Salgado. But when he did, Queiroz Pereira had left the grenade in the middle of the room without the fuse.
That is why Pedro Queiroz Pereira got what he wanted with the BES scandal: control over his group, getting rid of the Espírito Santo threat. After he had received it, in this case he would never have heard of the industrialist (with one exception), he left the scene, laughed last, while Salgado was still devoured by the flames of the fire that led to the bankruptcy of the Group, to the loss of the bank and the legal proceedings in which it is accused.
So friends that we … we never went
The break between Pedro and Ricardo put an end to a decades-long alliance between the families Queiroz Pereira and Espírito Santo. Behind them were participations and even business crusades, such as the famous construction of the Ritz Hotel in Lisbon, made at the request of Salazar, who wanted an international hotel in Lisbon.
Queiroz Pereira flourished during the dictatorship, led by Manuel Queiroz Pereira, and would be expropriated on April 25, moving to Brazil, a trauma that Pedro never recovered: he had a part of his fortune abroad for fear of being re-expropriated. The son of Manuel Queiroz Pereira lived in Brazil until the 1980s, where he was best known for the life of car shows and rallies, from which the nickname "Pêquêpê" comes, an acronym that he (and his brother, " Mêquepê "), they often registered for matches without their father knowing, because he disapproved of it. When you could expect a rest of the rich playboy's life, Pedro returned to Portugal, took over as an entrepreneur, rebuilt and reorganized the family group and became one of the biggest Portuguese industrialists. At the time of his death, he was one of the richest men in the country and led a group with meager debts and fat gains, adding companies such as Semapa / Secil and Portucel / Soporcel.
Pedro Queiroz Pereira was fanatically discrete, partly because he always liked to deal with governments, whatever they were. It was preferred by some and hated others. It was passed on to the government of Durão Barroso and his Minister Carlos Tavares, who gave him the victory in the privatization of Portucel, in clash with Belmiro de Azevedo, who later called the new machine of the company an investment sponsored by José Socrates and his minister Manuel Pinho, another government with which Queiroz Pereira has done the miracles. At the inauguration of this machine, in 2009, the President of the Republic of Cavaco Silva decorated him with surprise with the Grand Cross of the Order of Industrial Merits, which moved him. It was left in the OPA on Cimpor, under the government of António Guterres and his Minister Pina Moura, whom he called a liar.
It is precisely in the OPA to Cimpor in 2000 that the first tensions between Queiroz Pereira and Ricardo Salgado came to light, today in Público: the industrial contractor advised Santander and BES came up with advising the French Lafarge, opponents of the OPA. Two years later, in 2002, Margarida Queiroz Pereira, Pedro's younger sister, sells shares to faceless offshore companies, which Pedro suspects are under control of BES: Salgado, who denies it, would be a "Trojan horse." "Use" To become a member of the Semapa Group Only 10 years later, in 2012, Salgado will reveal that they will actually control these companies Queiroz Pereira saw the act as a betrayal – and as a preconceived attempt to put his group under And he sees in his other sister, Maude, an ally of Salgado for that purpose, anticipate and open war, total war, on the pages of newspapers, and start the investigation into the GES accounts.
At the end of the summer of 2013, the first news about problems in GES was published on Expresso: the group was financed in almost two billion euros by BES customers, who subscribed for the fund's units. ES Liquidity: the sample GES fed everything it could (still).
On September 24, 2013 Pedro Queiroz Pereira writes a confidential letter to Carlos Costa, governor of the Banco de Portugal, a document that would later be revealed by Expresso. The Queiroz Pereira Group owned 7.67% of ES Control, which managed more than 50% of ES International, a holding that would have known that the accounts had been forged almost half a billion euros. in unrecognized liabilities, half in overvalued assets (including assets that simply did not exist).
In the letter Queiroz Pereira reveals irregularities in general meetings and evasion of accounts of ES Control, which were not even filed. Concerned about these unforeseen circumstances "and" even by the weight that GES has in the Portuguese economy, "claims Pedro Queiroz Pereira that he has initiated" legal proceedings to investigate the financial health of ES ". In their analysis of the accounts, the lawyers of Queiroz Pereira had concluded that ES International was in an unexpected situation: bankrupt. The impact on the Portuguese economy, he wrote, "could be devastating."
It was after this letter that Queiroz Pereira sold his shares of ES Control and left GES Semapa. And at the end of 2013, well before the bankruptcy of GES was known, Queiroz Pereira sent the letter to the Banco de Portugal, where he left the stage. The first action had an interest that was reached: control over Semapa. The collapse of GES (and of BES) is already happening in 2014.
Who laughs last
"Ricardo Salgado has a problem: not miraculously dealing with the truth". The phrase became famous and was delivered by Pedro Queiroz Pereira to the committee of inquiry for the GES case, already in 2014. It was the only exception in which the industrial sector returned to speak about the matter. But he did it with the king in his stomach, during one of the busiest hearings in Parliament.
"The sisters of Ricardo Salgado make cakes to sell in restaurants and restaurants [ele] he never defended them, "what" represents the hypocrisy, "he said, in a clear answer to a complaint against Salgado earlier in the same place, in which former BES leader Pedro Queiroz accused Pereira of harming his sister Maude in the dispute through Semapa's control. GES, he said, was "a house of cards" and "there was one that counts": Ricardo Salgado.
The families Queiroz Pereira and Espírito Santo were two of the most powerful families in Portugal, inextricably linked by history, business and even different marriages, but also by betrayal, blackmail and threats. The Holy Spirit lost fortune and reputation, Queiroz Pereira split up between brothers, but kept the tribe of the group under control of the one who let the tree grow: Pedro, son of Manuel, who now leaves the control over the group that are daughters is given. The Pêquepê who won a rally when he was a child will not run anymore, but has left the victory cup at home. The discrete emperor left a realm. "Veni Vidi Vici".