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Esso Brasileira

Stephen Arbogast

The energy business is a long horizon business.  Due to its capital intensity, investment payback periods last for years.  This poses difficulties when the investments in question reside in volatile and risky locations.  This case presents a petroleum products marketing company operating in Brazil during the 1980s.  That period of time was quite volatile for the Brazilian economy.  Especially concerning were the uncertainties associated with the $US/Cruzeiro exchange rate.  These factors handicapped American firms attempting to compete with their Brazilian counterparts.  Students of this case will have to weight how to carry out Esso Brasileira’s competitive strategy within this environment.  They also will have to make decisions about the size and timing of dividend remittances back to the U.S.

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