Investment

This Week’s Top Three – biotech, augmented reality, and airfreight

Family Capital’s This Week’s Top Three. The weekly feature that looks at the three most compelling deals done by family/principal investment groups over the last week.

Zell’s investment group buys into logistics group 

Equity Group Investments, the Chicago-based family office of one of America’s savviest investors, Sam Zell, has taken an undisclosed holding in Able Freight Services, an air-freight logistics group. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. 

EGI’s president Mark Sotir, said in a statement about the deal: “This partnership reflects today’s global growth opportunity in cold chain transportation and distribution.”

EGI is one of America’s oldest private investment groups, founded by Zell way back in 1968 from a merger of two Zell-owned real estate groups. Zell, now in his late seventies, continues to be a big force in the investment world, as this latest deal underlines. 

EGI’s motto: “We see opportunities others don’t — and invest like others can’t” has underpinned the investment success of Zell and the group for more than 50 years. 

 

Euclidean Capital continues to back biotech

Jim Simons, might be one of the world’s top hedge fund managers, but he’s also becoming one of the top private investors in biotech. 

His investment office Euclidean Capital participated in another deal in the sector with a Series B investment in A2 Biotherapeutics, Euclidean was one of eight investors committing $71.5 million to the Los Angeles-based biotech group, which is developing “novel medicines for serious illness”. Casdin Capital, Eli Casdin’s healthcare fund, also backed the round. 

Set up just two years ago, A2 has already received $128 million in financing. 

Euclidean, except for the occasional non-biotech AI-type investment, has pretty much concentrated exclusively on biotech and healthcare investment since it was founded more than 10 years ago. 

 

US family office backs UK-based augmented reality car group

Van Tuyl Companies, an investment office based in Scottsdale, Arizona, has invested in Envisics, which makes holographic technologies for augmented reality displays in cars. 

Larry Van Tuyl, the owner of Van Tuyl Companies, sold a controlling stake in one of the biggest car dealerships in the US to Berkshire Hathaway for $4.1 billion in 2015. He remains chairman of the group. 

Van Tuyl Companies invested alongside the venture arms of Hyundai, General Motors, and SAIC Motors into Enviscs, which is based in Milton Keynes in the UK.  The Series B deal was worth €42 million. 

 

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