Massive acquisition by low key family office of high profile family

Family big fortunes - Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza      Pic: Wikimedia

Family big fortunes - Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza      Pic: Wikimedia

Sometimes deals happen below the radar and often these deals are the most interesting. One such deal that probably fits into this category is the acquisition of weather information provider DTN by a Swiss-based group called TBG early this week. Why is it significant? Well, the price paid makes it pretty impressive - $900 million. And the acquirer is a single-family office linked to one of Europe’s most storied - and wealthiest - families.

TBG is an investment vehicle of the Thyssen-Bornemisza family. TBG stands for the Thyssen-Bornemisza Group. The fortune comes from the Thyssen family, who since the 19th century have been among Germany’s wealthiest people. They are perhaps best-known for the massive Thyssen steel works, which today is called ThyssenKrupp. Although the Thyssen-Bornemisza part of the family were a chip off the old block when one member of the family fell out with the main Thyssen part back in the 1920s.

Today, the family member most connected to TBG is Georg Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza. He is the eldest son of Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, best known for his huge art collection, much of which is now housed at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid.

Anyway, the price tag paid for DTN suggests TBG is a serious player in the world of family offices. Acquisitions like this are institutional in their significance, despite being done by just one family.