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João Carlos Di Genio

João Carlos Di Genio

João Carlos Di Gênio owns one of the largest private education groups in Brazil, Grupo Objetivo, with an estimated value of R$9 billion. The group’s businesses cover all education levels, from children’s education to graduate studies, and also involve the production of textbooks and software, used not only in his education network but in other institutions. He also owns a printing plant, a publisher and an advertisement agency, dominating all stages of the education business. Besides that, Di Gênio is one of the biggest real estate owner in São Paulo, and his schools and universities are installed in his buildings. In the communication sector, Di Gênio owns Grupo Mix, consisting of Mix FM radio station, open TV channels Mega TV and RBI TV, cable TV channel Multishop and varieties website Vírgula. He also grows cattle in five farms.

Besides setting up a structure which concentrates all stages of the education process, Di Gênio’s conglomerate’s owes its growth also to an advertisement investment, focused mostly on the idea that his university admittance prep course would best enable students to be admitted in public and tuition free universities, considered the best universities in Brazil. According to information by Folha de S. Paulo, the entrepreneur has maintained relations with important politicians. A newspaper article from the early 2000s claimed that he had been a friend of federal deputy Ulysses Guimarães (PMDB), deceased in 1992, and the best man in the marriage of two of deputy Luís Eduardo Magalhães (PFL) daughters, deceased in 1998 and son of former senator, Bahia state governor and Minister of Communications Antonio Carlos Magalhães (DEM), deceased in 2007. The article also said Di Gênio had interfered in National Education Board (CNE)’s decisions favoring his university, UNIP – Universidade Paulista, through Yugo Okida, Di Gênio’s partner, vice dean for graduate studies and research at Unip and a member of the Superior Education Chamber at CNE. The Ministry of Education’s advisory organ is of deliberative nature and has, among its attributions, the licensing for superior education courses, the issuing of evaluations on the proceedings and results of superior education evaluation processes and legislation proposals for the sector. Di Gênio himself also takes part in public councils. Currently he is a member of the Social and Economic Development Council (CDES), which advices the president of the Republic in all areas where the Federal Executive Power operates.

Di Gênio runs the group’s companies closely. He is the dean of UNIP. Unlike most groups listed in this survey, however, the businessman faces a succession problem. With three children, he was father for the first time at 66 years old, and his children are still teenagers. According to an article published at Exame magazine, a company of Grupo Abril which specializes in the economy sector, the founder of Grupo Objetivo would be planning to open his companies capital for external investors since his children are not yet old enough to take up the family business, and the successor would be his nephew, Fernando DI Genio Barbosa, group director, which isn’t Di Gênio’s favorite outcome. For this, however, the group would have to make their universities, maintained by a non-profit association, into private companies with profit purposes. The regime change in the universities would also allow for patent registration of researches made by UNIP, such as the one made on Amazonian plants.

If the operation is confirmed, Grupo Objetivo would be following the steps of other family media groups in Brazil, such as RBS and Grupo Globo, which have maintained their families ruling their conglomerates, but opened their capitals for foreign investment.

Media Companies / Groups
Media Outlets



UNIP - Universidade Paulista

Real estate

Real estate in the city of São Paulo


farms and animal breeding

Further Information

Data Publicly Available

ownership data is easily available from other sources, e. g. public registries etc.

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http://Objetivo. Acessed October 17 2016.

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