Inside these posts: Pritzkers

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Chicago startup EduLender raises $1M

Chicago-based startup EduLender, a comparison shopping website for student loans, said Tuesday it has raised $1 million in seed funding.

The group of investors includes Hyde Park Angels, an early-stage investment group with its roots in the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, as well as other local groups such as Sandbox Ventures and New World Ventures, whose founder is J.B. Pritzker. Kapor Capital, which is based in San Francisco, Calif., is also an investor. Other participants in the funding round include Excelerate, a Chicago-based incubator, and Sam Yagan, a co-founder of Excelerate who also helped found dating site OKCupid. Get the full story »

Pritzkers selling Triton Container for $1B

Triton Container International Ltd., which is owned by the wealthy Pritzker family, is expected to disclose as early as Thursday its sale to private-equity firms Warburg Pincus LLC and Vestar Capital Partners for about $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

Talks are ongoing and details are still being finalized, these people added. Including debt and cash, a sale would value Triton at about $3.5 billion, people familiar with the matter said. Get the full story »

Pritzker Group buys control of Peco Pallet

From Crain’s Chicago Business | The Pritzker Group has acquired a controlling stake in Peco Pallet, a Yonkers, N.Y. company that supplies pallet rentals to grocers, discount retailers and warehouses. The Pritzker Group, which represents investment interests of Chicago’s Pritzker family, called Peco Pallet an “industry leader,” while David Lee, the CEO of Peco Pallet, said the acquisition would enable Peco to “continue expanding throughout North America.”

Pritzkers prepare sale of shipping-container unit

One of America’s wealthiest clans, the Pritzker family, is continuing to shed assets with the expected sale of Triton Container International Ltd. to private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Vestar Capital, people familiar with the matter said.

The buyout shops are close to a deal to acquire the shipping-container leasing company owned by Chicago’s Pritzker family for about $1 billion, these people said.

The Pritzkers, which took the Hyatt Hotels Corp. hotel chain public in 2009, are among the wealthiest U.S. families, controlling a business empire founded by Nicholas J. Pritzker more than a century ago. Get the full story »

Report: Pritzkers’ Hyatt Center sold for $625M

From Bloomberg | A source with knowledge of the transaction says the Pritzker family has sold Hyatt Center, a 48-story office tower in downtown Chicago, to closely held Irvine Co for $625 million.

Get the full story »

Irvine Co. nears deal to buy Hyatt Center

The Irvine Co. is close to an agreement to buy the 49-story Hyatt Center in Chicago for about $625 million from the Pritzkers, the storied family whose business empire includes a majority stake in the Hyatt Hotels Corp. chain, according to people familiar with the deal.

The sale of the curved tower at 71 S. Wacker Drive in Chicago, which contains about 1.5 million square feet of office space, could close as early as Friday, people said. The deal could still collapse, but if completed, the building would be one of the largest Windy City properties to trade this year. Get the full story »

Pritzkers buy medical device firm

The Pritzker Group said it has purchased a Utah medical device company for an undisclosd sum from another local private investment firm.

The investment firm, which represents investment interests of Chicago’s Pritzker family, bought Clinical Innovations, a Murray, Utah-based maker of devices used in the care of women and their infants such as specialized catheters. Get the full story »

Workers picket Hyatt Regency in Rosemont

Striking workers picket this morning at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Rosemont. (Alex Garcia/Tribune)

Chicago Hyatt Hotel employees, working without a contract since this time last year, walked off the job Friday at the Hyatt Regency near O’Hare airport, protesting cuts in wages and health care benefits.

The move is part of a coordinated pre-Labor Day strike strategy organized by the national Unite Here labor union that kicked off Thursday with strikes at Hyatt Hotels Corp. properties in Honolulu and Los Angeles. Workers in Boston, Indianapolis and Toronto, among other cities, will also be engaged in protest activities Friday, the union said.

Unite Here spokesperson Annemarie Strassel said the national union is in multiple contract negotiations with the big three hotel companies — Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc., Hilton Worldwide and Hyatt. But it chose to target Hyatt because the Chicago-based chain, which is controlled by the wealthy Pritzker family, has posed “the most regressive proposals.” Get the full story »

Hyatt workers prepare for Friday strike

Hyatt workers in Chicago are preparing to go on strike on Friday over unsuccessful contract negotiations.

The work stoppage, which is planned for an undisclosed Hyatt hotel in the Chicago area, will be the first strike of its magnitude since contracts for 6,000 hotel workers in Chicago expired in August 2009. Unionized hotel workers have staged other protests during the protracted contract negotiations, including brief walkouts at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers and the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago. Unite Here, the union representing hospitality workers, has focused on Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp. and the Pritzker family, which controls the chain. Get the full story »

Pritzkers put Hyatt Center on market for $575M

The Pritzker family is putting the Hyatt Center, the curvy 71 S. Wacker Dr. skyscraper on the Chicago River, on the market for more than $575 million, according to Crain’s. Major tenants in the 49-story building include the Pritzker family’s Hyatt Hotels Corp., Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw LLP and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Get the full story>>

Hyatt changes Penny Pritzker’s board status

Penny Pritzker, one of America’s richest and most powerful businesswomen, is no longer considered an independent director of Hyatt Hotels Corp., the publicly traded company that her family controls.

Hyatt disclosed that change in its proxy statement in late April, when the list of independent directors no longer included the 51-year-old Pritzker, who was national finance chair for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and leads several companies that are part of her family’s business empire. Get the full story »

Jewish leaders pledge support for Hyatt boycott

With support from hundreds of Jewish leaders, Chicago Hyatt workers are calling for a boycott of “one or more” Hyatt hotels in the Chicago area, according to Unite Here, the hotel workers’ union.

The properties will join seven other boycotts announced by the union at Hyatt properties. The union would not say which hotels are planned for the boycott, which is scheduled to be announced Tuesday afternoon in front of Hyatt Global Headquarters. Get the full story »

Film paints Pritzkers as obstacle to recovery

Workers at the Union Tank Car plant. (Show Us The Tax Breaks)

A short film produced by the hotel workers’ union and screened Wednesday evening in Chicago holds up the city’s wealthy Pritzker family as poster children for corporate decision-making that they say has contributed to the downfall of the economy.

“Show Us the Tax Breaks” attacks the family, and Penny Pritzker in particular, for the decision to close East Chicago’s Union Tank Car plant in 2008. The plant was one of the largest employers in East Chicago, Ind., and when it closed, hundreds of workers were left unemployed. Get the full story »

Unite Here to screen film about Union Tank Car

Unite Here, the hotel workers union, is planning a public screening Wednesday of “Show Us the Tax Breaks” – a short film that attacks Chicago’s Pritzker family and their decision to close East Chicago’s Union Tank Car plant in 2008. The plant was one of the largest employers in East Chicago and when it closed, hundreds of workers were left unemployed.

The film argues that through their company — the Marmon Group, which owned Union Tank Car — the Pritzkers benefited from economic incentives and tax breaks in their decision to relocate the plant to Louisiana. At the time, the Marmon Group said that market conditions had forced the company to reduce overall production and that the aging facility in East Chicago was less efficient. Get the full story »

Pritzkers invest in East Coast apartment buildings

Pritzker Realty Group, the Chicago-based real estate firm affiliated with the wealthy Pritzker family, formed a joint venture with the Bozzuto Group to invest in apartment buildings on the East Coast.

The venture, which has an initial capital commitment of $75 million, will focus on properties in the greater Baltimore-Washington area, as well as in the broader Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region.

“This partnership allows us to tap into Bozzuto’s market expertise to invest in multifamily developments,” said Penny Pritzker, CEO of the namesake company and one of the key business leaders in the Pritzker family empire. Get the full story »