Vital Source Technologies, the e-textbook division of Ingram Content Group, has signed an agreement to provide its services to Brazilian scientific, technical and professional publisher GEN Grupo. The companies already have started to convert GEN Grupo's catalog of 3,500 titles into digital formats. Vital Source's platform is used on some 6,000 campuses around the world.
Alianca da Terra, the Brazilian nonprofit founded by Nashville-based social entrepreneur John Cain Carter, has secured a $200,000 federal grant.
Carter, who recently returned to Nashville after living full time in Brazil for 16 years, said the nonprofit landed the funding from the U.S. Southern Command, a.k.a., SouthCom. It will be used to buy equipment for Brazil's various volunteer firefighting forces that protect the southern basin of the Amazon River.
To date, and prior to the SouthCom monies, Alianca da Terra, has received support from the Betty & Gordon Moore Foundation, USAID, the Skoll Foundation and private donations, according to Carter, who will use his Nashville office as the nonprofit's fundraising headquarters and will commute to Brazil each month.
"We have taken the field and held the line on wild fires in an area the size of Tennessee today (northeastern Mato Grosso State)," said Carter, who serves as the nonprofit's general director. "Having proved that it can be done, we now want to expand across the frontier arc of deforestation across the Amazon Basin; thus, our fundraising efforts are being turned on high."
Executives at Corrections Corp. of America have often said there are still plenty of opportunities for them to grow in the United States, but the Financial Times reports that a big new growth market is emerging in Brazil. Government officials from São Paolo are looking for investors to help them build three major facilities that will hold more than 10,000 inmates.
Longtime Nissan executive and current Nissan Canada President Allen Childs will retire from the company Jan. 1. Taking over his spot will be Christian Meunier, who will relocate from Brazil, where Nissan was the fastest-growing car brand in 2011. Meunier joined the company in 2012 and has held a number of posts specializing in sales and marketing.
UnitedHealth made a big splash Monday by announcing a deal to buy 90 percent of a Brazilian managed-care provider for almost $5 billion. The move, writes Theresa Bradley at Quartz, is a bet that continued growth in Latin America's largest economy will help it develop a private health care sector with the scope of the one in the United States.
The number of Brazilians with private health insurance jumped 37% to 48 million between 2005 and 2011, according to UnitedHealth’s statement, but still reaches just a quarter of the population, compared with 80% in the US, where there has to date been a limited public option. UnitedHealth’s foray into Latin America presents a chance to diversify beyond that US base, where margins are expected to shrink as President Barack Obama’s healthcare legislation takes effect.
With the exception of HCA Holdings and Healthways — the latter has been active in Brazil since 2008 — the large health care providers headquartered in Middle Tennessee haven't ventured overseas with any real purpose. Could United's big move get them to look beyond U.S. borders in earnest?