Opportunities to allocate capital directly are more prevalent now than ever before, and family offices seem to be at the center of this trend. In utilizing the FINTRX family office data and research platform, which provides intel into thousands of direct deal transactions made by 3,030+ family offices around the globe, we explore three family offices directly investing in automotive companies.
1. Redwood Capital (Jim Davis Single Family Office)
Established in 2006, Redwood Capital (Jim Davis Single Family Office) is a Hanover, Maryland-based single-family office managing the capital of Jim Davis and his family. Davis is a co-founder of global staffing agency Allegis and is also chair of Erickson Living Management, an owner, manager, and developer of retirement communities in the United States. Redwood Capital Investments invests in both public and private equity across a myriad of sectors, regions, and asset classes, but specializes in middle-market, later stage, emerging growth, growth capital, and mature companies. Redwood seeks to become long-term partners with the companies it invests in and has a concentrated portfolio of direct investments in companies across industries including automotive, transportation, distribution, infrastructure and real estate, and consumer services. The firm comprises a small team with no formal investment committee or need for external approvals and therefore can make quick decisions and develop creative investment structures.
Redwood Capital invests in credit investments, rescue capital, real estate, distressed debt, fund investments, structured equity securities, and minority equity investments. Within private equity, the group prefers to invest in basic materials, energy, healthcare, industrials, infrastructure, and railway. Redwood often invests between USD$10M and $100M in companies with a minimum enterprise value between $50M and $250M. The firm seeks businesses with a durable model and proven track record, a strong competitive market position, experienced management teams, and future opportunities for Redwood to reinvest or deploy additional capital. Redwood seeks to reinvest all of its earnings back into the businesses it invests in.
Redwood has made over 10 direct investments in automotive companies. For instance, in January 2018, the firm made a direct investment in RV Retailer, LLC, a leading recreational vehicle (RV) retail company in the United States with over 200 years of automotive and RV retail industry experience. That same month, Redwood directly invested in Hudson Automotive Group, a third-generation, family-owned-and-operated business proudly serving customers with all their automotive needs. In July 2019, Redwood invested in Tom's Camperland, a recreational vehicle dealer in Mesa, Surprise, and Avondale, Arizona. In April 2021, the group directly invested in RV Technical Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the RV consumer experience, reducing repair event cycle times, and solving the shortage of trained technicians. Redwood will invest in various stages globally and occasionally co-invests with other like-minded firms. The group seeks to invest in companies based in North America, but will also consider opportunities with domestic or global operations in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
2. Certina Holding
Founded in 1997, Certina Holding is a Gründwald, Germany-based single-family office serving as the holding company and direct investment arm for an undisclosed high-net-worth German family. In the mid-2000s, the firm expanded its geographic approach to include Asian and North American-based companies. Today, Certina Holding invests in multinational companies and remains industry agnostic. The group participates in deals that have a range of acquisition criteria including turnaround and restructuring deals, corporate spin-offs and carve-outs, operational improvement potential, strategic fit to existing portfolio companies, and unresolved successions. When investing, the firm takes a long-term approach and supports each portfolio company with a hands-on strategy. Certina Holding specializes in the acquisition and turn-around of special situation companies.
Certina actively engages in direct investment opportunities and acquisitions of companies across a wide array of industries including automotive, manufacturing, technology, agriculture, construction, retail, chemicals, cosmetics, and more. In January 1997, the group made a direct investment in Pruss, a mechanical engineering company based in Hannover, Germany. Fast forward to September 2020, when Certina invested in PAL Wiping Systems, a developer, manufacturer, and seller of products for the automotive industry for customers in the Czech Republic and abroad. Certina is heavily involved in the Porsche Sports Cup car racing circuit as well. In 2018, the firm represented three drivers racing Porsche 991 GT3 Cup cars. Certina Holding has an additional office in Munich, Germany, and is open to co-investment opportunities from time to time.
3. MB Capital (Beaudoin Family Office)
Established in 1988, MB Capital (Beaudoin Family Office) is a Sherbrooke, Canada-based single-family office serving as the investment vehicle for the Beaudoin family. MB Capital seeks direct investments in small to medium-sized businesses in Canada and the Midwest US. Industries of focus include consumer goods, manufacturing, distribution, automotive, technology, and services sectors. The group will not consider investment opportunities in the restaurant, real estate, or retail spaces. Additionally, the group targets companies without succession plans or whose partners are departing and will make total buyouts. MB Capital primarily makes long-term investments into dedicated management teams and takes a hands-on approach with its investments. The firm targets companies with revenue between $5M and $50M located specifically in Canada and the Midwest, United States.
In January 1995, MB Capital directly invested in Verbom Inc., a privately held company that provides engineering consulting, tooling, and production services to customers working in the automotive, recreational vehicle, household appliances, and public transport sectors. In January 2016, MB Capital made a direct investment into IMA, a leader in extruding thin-walled aluminum profiles and supporting automotive light-weighting advancements. IMA specializes in the manufacturing of automotive metal components and assemblies using aluminum extrusions, finished tube parts, and welded assemblies. Since its inception, MB Capital has invested more than $20M in over 10 companies. MB Capital does not actively co-invest alongside other family offices and looks to take controlling stakes in their portfolio companies.
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