On December 13, 1914, Joaquim Ignácio da Fonseca Saraiva, of Portuguese nationality, born in the province of Trás-os Montes, founded the company Saraiva & Cia. after having lived in Brazil for two decades, a small commercial establishment for used books. The immigrant, who loved legal books – and who had already worked in a bookstore in Porto, the “Biblioteca do Cura da Aldeia” [the Bookstore of the Village’s Priest] -, became close to the professors and students of the most traditional Brazilian law school. The second-hand bookstore, located in the Largo do Ouvidor, very close to the Faculdade de Direito do Largo de São Francisco [Largo de São Francisco Law School], in São Paulo, was named "Livraria Acadêmica" [Academic Bookstore]. Its owner received the nickname of Counselor, for the valuable recommendations he offered to those who visited his bookstore.
In 1917, Joaquim published his first book, “Casamento Civil”, by Anicleto Corrêa, innaugurating the editorial phase of the bookstore. In the thirty years that followed, the bookstore gave priority to the legal area, that until that time lacked any form of industrial structure – the authors were forced to take the roles of production, financing and distribution for their works.
On 1934, the publisher expanded its commercial activities and also started to publish didactic books, general literature, sciences, etc., at the same time in which it expanded its publishing activities in the legal area and became the most respected publisher in Brazil for that kind of works.
Following a sequence of editional successes, in 1947 the company became a limited liability corporation, with the name of Saraiva S.A. – Livreiros Editores. A large number of former students headed for the bookstore to, without taking economic interests into consideration, subscribe shares of the company in honor of its founder, Counselor Saraiva.
The process of growth and the development of a store network came to a definite start with the opening of the second Saraiva Bookstore in 1972, at the Praça da Sé, a central landmark in the city of São Paulo.
In 1994, reaffirming its pioneering reputation with legal publications, Saraiva released the “LIS – Legislação Informatizada Saraiva” [Saraiva Computerized Legislation], a database in CD-ROM format containing federal legislation that is equivalent to 40 printed volumes. Editora Saraiva proceeds to publish paradidactic books, complementary educational works for diverse subjects that compose lower, middle and high school education.
In 1996, Livraria Saraiva opened the first of a series of totally computerized mega bookstores. Always alert to trends in global retail, the company inaugurated the Eldorado Shopping Center Mega Store in May and the Ibirapuera Shopping Center Mega Store in November, both in São Paulo, SP. The innovative bookstores seek, once again, to attract the public by offering stores that are ample, comfortable and with very special customer service. The main novelty of the second store were: the Saraiva Music Hall, with a CD and video section, and the Cyber Coffee & Book, a café that also offers Internet access.
In 1997, Editora Saraiva proceeds to publish books in the areas of Business Administration, Economy and Marketing targeted at the syllabus of higher education.
In September 1998, Saraiva went on to another conquest and, following a period of intense studies, acquired shareholder control of the prestigious Editora Atual. Founded 25 years ago by professors Gelson Iezzi and Osvaldo Dolce, authors of renowned didactic works, Editora Atual, such as Saraiva, owns a high quality line of schoolbooks.
In the year 2000, sales operations of Livraria Saraiva’s products through the internet are launched (www.saraiva.com.br
). In that same year, Editora Saraiva acquired Editora Renascer’s catalog of didactic and paradidactic books and started sales of legal editorial works through the internet (www.saraivajur.com.br
In 2003, in sequence to the plan for expansion of its editorial activities in the segment of didactic and paradidactic books, Editora Saraiva acquires shareholder control of Formato Editorial, a company located in Minas Gerais. This acquisition added approximately 450 new titles to Editora Saraiva’s catalog. In 2004, Formato Editorial was incorporated in Editora Saraiva.
In March, 2006 the adhesion to the Differentiated Level 2 Corporate Governance Practices of BOVESPA and in April of the same year the successful execution of a primary distribution of three million preferred shares took place, strengthening the financial position of the Company for the development of studies and implementation of investment projects.
In 2007, according to the program of investments established since the capital increase carried out in April, 2006 Saraiva has identified opportunities to apply such resources in projects with attractive perspectives of return throughout the year.
In 2007, Saraiva acquired Pigmento Editorial S.A., responsible for the commercialization of Ético Sistema de Ensino [Ethical Education System], constituted of a line of didactic materials edited with absolute conceptual strictness and a line of pedagogical support services of recognized quality.
Another important strategic movement that took place during 2007 was the initiative of Saraiva to create products that meet and anticipate the demands of the education market for digital contents. Fruit of an association with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt International Publishers, one of the world’s leading companies in the area of education software. In this same year, Saravia launched the line of product Saraiva Educação Multimídia. [Multimedia Education].
In 2007, the investments in the Bookstore were mainly allocated to the expansion of the network of stores, with record opening of seven units.
In March, 2008 Livraria e Papelaria Saraiva S.A. has successfully concluded the negotiations for the acquisition of 100% of shares of Siciliano S.A.
Siciliano, a traditional company in the Brazilian market of book retail sector, founded in 1928, conducts business in 13 Brazilian States, including the Federal District, and has 46 own stores and 9 franchise stores.
On November 30, 2008, the holding company Livraria Saraiva was incorporated by the controlled company Siciliano. This reverse incorporation resulted in the creation of a new company, Saraiva e Siciliano.