Peter Thiel invests … on the wrong side of the Tasman
Peter Thiel has been active in investing in our part of the world again, but on the wrong side of the Tasman.
The AFR reveals the billionaire Mr Thiel committed to invest $A47.5 million into the “obscure” Sargon Capital, with pitch decks released late last year also naming the billionaire as a director of the company.
Sargon planned to buy up a number of small providers in a bid to become a serious player in Australia’s $A2 trillion retirement savings market.
That might still happen, but not with Mr Thiel on board. New regulatory filings show the billionaire has now sold his Sargon stake, for reasons unknown.
It may be mysterious, and tiny next to the billions he stands to make from Palantir’s possible IPO in the US, but at least Mr Thiel has been throwing money around in The Lucky Country.
Here in Godzone, he showed us a lot of love earlier this decade – around the time he secured his New Zealand passport – investing in Xero, Vend and the now-defunct Pacific Fibre.
Internal Affairs documents on his 2011 citizenship application reveal Mr Thiel pledged to promote New Zealand as an investment destination.
The German-American-Kiwi did indeed do that but not lately. And in terms of speaking with his wallet, he seems to have forgotten about backing Kiwi companies.
Show some patriotism, Peter!
It remains hard to see why Mr Thiel coveted a New Zealand passport.
He’s never lived here. NZVIF, Xero and others would have gladly taken his money regardless. And similar property deals to his Wanaka foray have breezed through the Overseas Investment Office.
One explanation is that the hard-right, Trump-advising Mr Thiel feared the US would go to heck under Barack Obama, and wanted New Zealand on standby as a bolthole option.
If so, we’ve now outlived our usefulness.