Dieter Schwarz is a German billionaire that founded the globally active retail chain Lidl. His estimated net worth is over €30BN mark. In 1973, Schwarz launched the first discount retail shop Lidl in Ludwigshafen am Rhein. In 2020, there were over Lidl shops all over the world. Lidl’s yearly revenue was in 2021 at €100.8BN. In 1968, Lidl launched another supermarket chain called Kaufland. In this article, we investigate if there is a Schwarz family office, which would be directly a major family office in Europe.
Investment funds and philanthropy, ZFHN as Schwarz family office
Schwarz is an active venture capital investor. First, he initiated Heilbronn-based BORN2GROW, which provides capital to early-stage startups with investments between €0.5-1M. Portfolio companies include Unchained Robotics, SpinDrive and baseclick. Many startups come from the life science and tech sphere. Lately, Schwarz also launched ZFHN, the Zukunftsfonds Heilbronn, which is responsible for later stage investments. The fund has a €200M volume and invests between €2-15M per investment. Portfolio companies include smartGAS, INSPEKTO and seleon. The firm also supports managment buy-outs. ZFHN calls itself a “privately financed family office”, so it can be seen as Schwarz family office.
Furthermore, Schwarz is active in philanthropy through his Dieter-Schwarz-Stiftung. The foundation supports various educational projects. In addition, Schwarz is a strong supporter of the Heilbronn area. For instance, Schwarz’s foundation supported the initiation of a branch of TU Munich in Heilbronn.
Picture source: Marjan Blan
This article directly stems from the research process for our European single family office database. Our list of European single family offices includes the most important family investment vehicles that invest in various areas, such as financial markets, real estate, venture capital, private equity and renewables.