The NZ Superannuation Fund is investing $US75 million in a US-based start-up company that makes high-tech glass.
The investment in View, which makes glass that allows building occupants to control light, glare and preserve views by avoiding blinds and shades, is part of a $US150 million equity raising and will give the NZ Super Fund something less than 10% of the company.
View is headquartered in Silicon Valley, has its manufacturing facilities in Mississippi, was founded in 2006 and had raised $US328 million before this latest funding round.
View’s technology means its glass will automatically react to outdoor conditions and occupants can also manually control the glass using apps on smartphones and tablets or by wall switches.
Its glass is currently installed at more than 120 sites across North America and the company says its use shaves 20% off of annual lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation costs in a typical commercial installation.
NZ Super Fund’s head of international direct investments Nigel Gormly will take a seat on View’s board.
Mr Gormly says the technology has been around for about 40 years but View is the first company to commercialise it and to add smart controls to it.
He won’t say exactly what stake the fund will have but says it will be “a significant minority shareholder.”
The fund has been in contact with View for more than a year and “their progress in the last year has been fantastic,” Mr Gormly says.
The manufacturing facility began operating in November 2012.
Mr Gormly says the performance metrics, such as yield, quality and on-time performance, have improved significantly since the NZ Super Fund began investigating View.
“The company, and what the company needs, really plays to the strengths we bring as an investor,” he says.
“They have a unique product in an area where we see significant growth.”
NZ Super Fund invests only about 1.5% of its portfolio in early-stage companies with strong growth potential, chief investment officer Matt Whineray says.
“They are an appropriate part of the mix for a long-term, diversified investor seeking to maximise returns.”
View did face a lawsuit filed in December 2012 by SAGE Electrochromics which claimed View had infringed its two US patents.
Mr Gormly says that dispute was settled recently.
NZ Super Fund totalled $29.6 billion at the end of May.
Use MyNBR Tags to track people and companies – and receive key-word email alerts. Find out how here.
This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags
- Chinese, UK and Australian immigrants drive NZ net migration to new record in May
- Labour called out over ‘hypocritical’ student volunteer situation
- Local football app developer goes out to the market for cash
- Court action back on for Andrew Little
- O’Malley abandons Cadbury contract bid – but has a plan B
Most listened to
- NZSA chairman John Hawkins on why PFI should buy the management contract
- Anthony Harper partner Richard Smedley discusses the implications of a court ruling against an NBR Rich Lister
- Matthew Hooton says Labour's student scandal highlights its hypocrisy
- My F.C. chief executive Sam Jenkins says the company could disrupt football
- Penny Pepperell explains the Supreme Court view on whether mental health institutions should provide dedicated smoking rooms
- NBR Radio: best of the week ended June 16, with Grant Walker