Sam Zell, a well-known wealthy businessman, died on May 18, 2023. He was 81 years old. His private investing company also released a statement saying that he had been sick for a long time, which led to his death. Several people, like J.B. Pritzker, the governor of Illinois, and Michael Millar, the owner, and principal of Open Slate Communications, gave tribute to him.
Pritzker wrote a tribute to Zell on Facebook and told Zell’s friends and family that he was sorry for their loss. He also said that Zell was a self-made businessman whose parents were refugees. Zell will be known for giving back to the city and state where he grew up.
Sam Zell’s Net Worth
Sam Zell was an American businessman who died in May 2023 at the age of 81 and was worth $6 billion. Sam Zell made a lot of money by buying commercial properties that were in bad shape and then hanging on to them or selling them when their values went up a lot.
Equity Group Investments (EGI) was the name of his main business company. In 2007, he gave his business, Equity Office Properties Trust, which owned and managed office buildings, to Blackstone Group for $39 billion.
Zell’s Group Investments in Equity
Zell and Lurie started Equity Group Investments together in 1968. This was the start of Zell’s real estate investing business. At first, the company focused on buying real estate that was in bad shape, which was in line with Zell’s “contrarian” investment approach.
He looked for buildings that were undervalued because he was sure he could turn them into profitable businesses.
Zell gave Blackstone $39 billion for Equity Group Investments in 2007. The way he planned things turned out to be perfect. Within a year, the real estate market crashed, and the Great Recession of 2008/2009 hit the whole world. If he had tried to sell the business a year later, it would have been worth only a small part of what it was worth at the time.
Diversification and Growth
Under Zell’s leadership, Equity Group Investments grew quickly, and it eventually turned into a huge empire of publicly traded companies. Equity Residential, the biggest apartment owner in the U.S., is part of this empire. He also has investments in other areas, such as energy with Covanta Holding Corp., transportation with Prologis, and healthcare with CareTrust REIT.
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Purchase of Tribune Company
Zell got into the media business in 2007 when he bought the Tribune Company, a group that owned the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and a number of TV stations. At first, the $8.2 billion deal looked good, but the company filed for bankruptcy a year later because it had too much debt and was making less money from ads.
Zell’s image as a smart and risk-taking investor didn’t change because of the bankruptcy, and he continued to do well in his other businesses. Zell lost more than $300 million from the deal in the end.
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