Gafisa is one of Brazilian largest builders and incorporators. The company began its successful trajectory in 1954, in Rio de Janeiro, where it began to operate under the denomination Gomes de Almeida, Fernandes. Three decades later, its name was altered to Gafisa Imobili ria and at the end of 1997, with an association from GP Investimentos (the biggest private equity fund in Brazil), which is majority shareholder since 2003 with currently 60% of the shares. It was renamed Gafisa S. A., a publicly-traded company however, it is not yet listed. Throughout its first 50 years of life, the company has realized more than 800 enterprises, including luxury residential condominiums, commercial buildings, flats and shopping centers. In total, those properties add up to around 9 million square meters of constructed area in Rio de Janeiro and S o Paulo.
In 2004, Gafisa decided to expand its operations and focus on construction for third parties. As a result, Gafisa is now present in many different Brazilian cities including Manaus, Belem, Macae, Salvador, and Campinas. In 2005, Gafisa announced a partnership with Equity International Properties (EIP), a leading North American company in real estate sector, which belongs to Equity Group Investments (LLC) and is headed by Samuel Zell, a well known real estate investor. EIP invested R$ 135 million in the Brazilian company and thus came to hold 32% of its shares. In 2006 the company made its IPO, being the first Brazilian listed company in the construction sector.(Read more at Wikinvest )