From airports to agriculture, from energy to banking, the name of Eduardo Eurnekian is synonymous with global business. A native of Argentina, Eurnekian is a world-renowned entrepreneur who has more recently been working to develop Armenia by investing in different sectors and thus creating jobs for its citizens. The AGBU Central Board of Directors will honor the Argentinean-Armenian businessman for his dedication to Armenia and Armenians during the 86th AGBU General Assembly gala to take place on Friday, October 15, in Buenos Aires.
Home to a large and vibrant Armenian community, Buenos Aires is a natural setting for AGBU’s 86th General Assembly, which is a biennial event that brings together AGBU leaders, chairpersons, and members to discuss the organization’s continuing work in the fulfillment of its mission to “preserve and promote the Armenian heritage around the world.” Also home to one of the earliest and most dynamic AGBU chapters, Buenos Aires is the hometown of Eurnekian, who is a leading figure in the city’s 80,000-strong Armenian community.
Eurnekian was born in 1932 to Armenian immigrants to Argentina. He began his career in the textile industry, like many Argentinean Armenians, and built one of the most important companies in that sector in the country.
In the early 1980s, Eurnekian purchased the bankrupt Cablevisión S.A cable TV station and transformed it into the largest private cable TV company in Latin America, with over a million subscribers. He later sold the company for $750 million, and the deal became one of the largest M&A transactions of the 1990s in Argentina. His media involvement included, among other things, an open-air TV chain, several radio stations, and a financial newspaper.
In 1998, he formed a consortium called Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, and he was awarded a 30-year concession to operate 33 of Argentina’s airports. He has since expanded his business to incorporate major airports in Uruguay, Ecuador, Italy, Armenia, and, most recently, Peru.
In agribusiness, Eurnekian owns the largest expanse of artificially irrigated land in Argentina and a total of 400,000 acres of farmland. He recently formed a new company, “Tierras de Marruecos,” which will explore the development of Morocco.
During the last decade, Eurnekian began taking an active interest in Armenia and its future. In 2001 he started the renovation of Zvartnots International Airport runway and platforms—which are already completed—and the construction of a new high-tech terminal (of which phases 1 and 2 have been completed, while phase 3 is to be inaugurated in the fall of 2011). His company, “Tierras de Armenia,” works to promote agribusiness in the nation, including a focus on fruit and vegetable production in Arevatashd, just 60 km outside Yerevan. He also sponsors “Fruitful Armenia,” a nonprofit organization which annually brings together various Armenian companies and organizations in an effort to promote agricultural growth, boost sustainable micro-business, and train local workers. In 2006, Eurnekian acquired the third largest bank in Armenia, Converse Bank. He is in charge of HayPost management system and the infrastructural renovation of its approximately 900 branches. In addition, he provides philanthropic help to the local Armenian communities and to the Holy See of Etchmiadzin.
Eurnekian also has significant assets in the retail, energy, and transportation sectors. In 2009, he began to expand into the grape and wine-growing industry and entered into a partnership with Bodega del Fin del Mundo.
A visionary businessman, Eurnekian has been named Business Man of the Year 1995 in Argentina, and in 1999 he received the “Leonardo Award” from the Italian government, which is given to the leading foreign businessman. In September 2001, he received the “St. Gregory the Illuminator Order” medal and the decoration of “St. Mesrob Mashtots” from the President of Armenia, the highest decorations given in that country. He is first vice-president of the Argentinean Chamber of Commerce and a member of various business boards. He has also had an active role in the Clinton Global Initiative, which is led by former US President Bill Clinton.
The Armenian General Benevolent Union, which has always encouraged philanthropy and active involvement in Armenian community life, will honor Eurnekian in appreciation of his commitment to bettering the lives of Armenians.
The Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) is the world’s largest non-profit
organization devoted to upholding the Armenian heritage through educational,
cultural and humanitarian programs. Each year, AGBU is committed to making
a difference in the lives of 500,000 people across Armenia, Artsakh and the
Armenian diaspora. Since 1906, AGBU has remained true to one overarching
goal: to create a foundation for the prosperity of all Armenians.
To learn more visit www.agbu.org.