Investment

Update: COVID vaccines billionaires build real estate empire

A little known Munich-based family office is backed by two of Europe’s wealthiest individuals, Thomas and Andreas Strüngmann, according to sources close to the group. 

AM Alpha has just bought a wine warehouse in South Australia for A$98 million, the most expensive industrial real estate deal in the Australian state since the beginning of the year, according to local sources. 

The real estate-focused investment group is linked to 1st Capital Partner, a German family office owned by local real estate billionaire Wolfgang Egger, but more significantly, Thomas and Andreas Strüngmann, the German pharmaceutical billionaires who founded generic drug maker Hexal and who backed the hugely successful biotech group BioNTech, which is behind one of the main COVID-19 vaccines. 

The brothers still have a minority holding in BioNTech, bought through their main family office, ATHOS Service. BioNTech now has a market capitalization of $54 billion after its share price has risen by more than 160% this year. Pfizer, the big pharmaceutical company BioNTech partners with for its COVID vaccine was forecast to make a big increase in profits due to the vaccine. 

According to Forbes, Egger, the other partner at AM Alpha,  is estimated to be worth $1.3 billion, with much of his wealth generated from his listed real estate business, Patrizia, which Egger founded in 1984. The Strüngmann brothers are worth more than $18 billion each, with their wealth rising by 80% so far this year, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index. 

Since the beginning of the year, despite concerns about office occupancy rates because of the COVID pandemic, AM Alpha has been busy buying up office space in Europe, including in the City of London and in Portugal. 

AM Alpha says it has a real estate portfolio worth more than $2 billion, which is a mix of office, retail, residential, and logistics assets across the world. Last year, AM Alpha, through its office in Singapore, bought residential property in Tokyo. And in the past, it has bought a shopping centre in Istanbul and an office tower in Shanghai, among many other acquisitions.  

1st Capital Partner, also based in Munich, invests in biotech and healthcare startups, including local business, advanceCOR, which is developing therapeutics and diagnostics for heart and vascular diseases, and Hemovent, a medical device maker. 

AM Alpha was contacted for this story but has yet to respond. 

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