The Download: Zipcar acquisition brings big payday for early investor

January 6, 2013

Local investor Steve Case enjoyed a handsome payday last week.

The former AOL executive holds a nearly 20 percent stake in vehicle-sharing company Zipcar, which agreed to a $500 million buyout offer from rental car company Avis on Wednesday.

That brings Case’s cut of the sale to approximately $96.2 million.

Case is the chief executive and chairman of Revolution, a District-based investment firm. He makes personal investments through the firm, including deals with Zipcar and District-based LivingSocial, and also invests funds raised from limited partners.

He was among the earliest backers of car sharing. Revolution initially purchased Flexcar, a competing service, in 2005 and merged the company with Zipcar two years later.

Case declined to comment on the sale through a spokeswoman.

The deal is expected to close in the spring, pending shareholder and regulatory approval. When it does, it will be the third deal that yields roughly $100 million or more for Revolution in recent years.

The firm sold online payment company Revolution Money to American Express for $300 million in 2009. Towers Watson & Co. acquired health care insurance services provider Extend Health for $435 million last year.

Bits and bytes

New Atlantic Ventures, an investment firm based in Reston, has raised $42.5 million for a new investment fund that will total $125 million when complete.

The new fund was disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission document filed just after Christmas. John Backus, the firm’s managing director, declined to comment, citing SEC regulations that prevent investors from speaking about fundraising.

New Atlantic Ventures funnels seed and early-stage capital to upstarts in such areas as mobile, e-commerce, health care, security and education. ●

Rockville-based Emergent Biosolutions has signed a license agreement with Cranbury, N.J.-based VaxInnate to manufacture and sell the company’s vaccine candidate for pandemic influenza in the United States.

The deal fits into a corporate growth strategy outlined by Emergent chief executive Daniel Abdun-Nab i that calls for the company to increase its revenue through the acquisition of drugs and vaccines that are nearing the market.

Steven Overly covers the business of technology, biotechnology and venture capital in the Washington region for The Washington Post and its weekly Capital Business publication. In that capacity, he has written about start-up struggles, investment trends and major drug discoveries.
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