Grupo Ongoing – Ejesa
Ongoing Strategy Investments was created in 2004 by the Rocha dos Santos to administrate their estate in the stock market so that they could diversify their investments. In Brazil, Grupo Ongoing holds 29.9% of Empresa Jornalística Econômico S.A. (Ejesa) stocks, which publishes the newspapers Brasil Econômico, Meia Hora and O Dia – the remaining 70.1% of the stocks are owned by enterpreneur Maria Alexandra Mascarenhas, former wife of Nuno Rocha dos Santos de Almeida Vasconcellos, presidente of Grupo Ongoing. In 2012 the group had also acquired the iG portal, whose management was given to enterpreneur Mario Cuesta, owner of the newspaper Diário de S. Paulo, in December, 2015.
RS Holding has the shareholding control of Ongoing Strategy Investments. The society’s shareholding control, on the other hand, is held by Isabel Rocha dos Santos, Nuno Vasconcellos mother and family matriarch. The group’s investment diversification strategy resulted in the selling out of Sociedade Nacional de Sabões (SNS), an industrial conglomerate that became the largest Portuguese private group after the Carnation Revolution (1974), responsible for making the family’s wealth. Ongoing Strategy Investments was born precisely with the purpose of “professionally managing the family’s investments, with a strategic focus in Portugal and the lusophone market”. According to this perspective, the company sought investments primarily in sectors such as communications, media and technology but also operated in the financial services, energy and infrastructure and real estate sectors.
The family’s business diversification began with Portugal Telecom, leader company in the Portuguese telecommunications market, which later initiated a merging process with the Brazilian Oi Telecomunicações. With an initial investment of 250 billion dollars, Grupo Ongoing acquired 10,05% of Portugal Telecom’s shares in 2011, thus becoming the major shareholder. In the following years, however, in an economic crisis, they lost control of the operator, which went to the Dutch company Altice. After the sale, Portugal Telecom had its name changed to Pharol. With a debt estimated in 1.2 billion euros, of which 800 million were owed to creditors Novo Banco and BCP, the holding Ongoing Strategy Investments declared bankruptcy in August, 2016. On October, 26th of that same year, the Creditors Assembly decided for the company’s liquidation and immediate and retrospective closing of their activities. This crisis scenario led Nuno Vasconcellos to transfer the businesses from Portugal to Brazil, a process that was already ongoing in the previous years.
The financial crisis faced by the holding had severe repercussions in Brazil. O Dia and Meia Hora employees had their payments delayed for four months. Besides that, in 2016, the crisis motivated the discharge of journalists in higher positions and with higher salaries in both newspapers. Brasil Econômico’s print version stopped circulating and remained available only in its online version. The employees only heard about the decision three days before it was implemented and 30 of them lost their jobs.
Ongoing Strategy Investments isn’t the first Rocha Santos family to declare bankruptcy. In the same year of 2016, the Creditors Assembly of ST&F, which published the print newspaper Diário Econômico in Portugal equally approved the company’s liquidation. Besides that, other companies owned by the group entered Revitalization Special Plans (PERs) in the same period, Insight Strategic Investments among them, a company dedicated to management of social participation in other business societies. Even the Grupo Ongoing headquarters in Lisbon was put up for sale.
The group reduced their staff in 70% between 2014 and 2015. The Brazilian online portal iG alone hand their number of collaborators reduced from 450 to 150 people in that period.
Media, Telecommunication, Technology, Consulting, Real Estate, Infrastructure, Energy.
Other Print Outlets
Newspapers O Dia, Meia Hora, Diário Económico (Portugal), Semanário Económico (Portugal), Expansão (Angola)
Other TV Outlets
Other Online Outlets
Portal IG (ig.com.br)
NOS (ex-Zon Multimídia)
Banco Espírito Santo
Tax/ ID Number
Revenue (Financial Data/ Optional)
Operating Profit (in Mill. $)
Advertising (in % of total funding)