Pilot Flying J Opens Pilot Travel Center in Arlington, Washington

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Pilot Flying J has opened new a Pilot Travel Center in Arlington, Washington.

The travel center features full amenities for area residents and the traveling public, while adding approximately 70 local jobs and other economic benefits to the community.

“We’re thrilled to serve the Arlington community and contribute to the local economy with our new travel center,” said Ken Parent, president of Pilot Flying J. “Our goal at Pilot Flying J is to connect people and places with comfort, care and a smile at every stop. Both Arlington residents and those traveling through the Snohomish County area will soon be able to enjoy the convenience and amenities of this Pilot Travel Center.”

This Pilot Travel Center offers many amenities, including:

• 12 gasoline fueling positions and seven diesel lanes with high-speed pumps for quicker refueling
• PJ Fresh pizza and grab-and-go food offerings prepared on site daily, including salads, sandwiches, burgers, fruit cups and an array of hot and cold snacks
• Pilot’s Best Gourmet Coffees, including bean-to-cup selections and cold brew
• Arby’s with a drive-thru
• Cinnabon
• Western Union
• CAT Scale
• Outdoor seating
• Everyday products for quick shopping needs

The new facility at 2430 State Route 530 NE will be Pilot Flying J’s 8th location in Washington, including travel centers, Pilot Express and dealers and it is expected to contribute $5.1 million annually in state and local tax revenues.

In October 2017, Berkshire Hathaway made a $2.76 billion investment in Pilot Travel Centers. Under the terms of the agreement, Berkshire will become the majority owner in five years.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Adds Property Construction in UK & Ireland

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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) announced today that it is expanding into the Property Construction insurance market in the UK and Ireland and has appointed Simeon Seamer to lead the effort as Head of Property Construction, UK and Ireland.

“With the current uncertainty surrounding available capacity for the construction industry in London, BHSI is pleased to provide a stable, reliable solution. We enter the property construction market with substantial capacity backed by stellar financial strength, BHSI’s long-view market commitment, and the expertise of Simeon to lead our growing team,” said Chris Colahan, Head of UK and Europe, BHSI.

In addition to property construction, BHSI in the UK and Ireland now offers a wide range of insurance products for the construction industry including CAR, liability and professional indemnity coverages.

Simeon comes to BHSI after nearly two decades in the construction insurance and reinsurance industry, having led underwriting for some of the largest infrastructure projects in the U.S. and Europe. He was most recently EMEA Head of Construction & Senior Underwriter at SCOR Global P&C. Prior to that he was Senior Construction Underwriter at Zurich Global Corporate UK. He began his insurance career as a London Market broker specializing in construction.

BHSI’s construction team for the UK and Ireland also includes James Emson, VP of Casualty, who joins BHSI from QBE in Hong Kong, and Farhad Dabestani, Senior Underwriter, Professional Indemnity, who comes to BHSI from AXA XL.

© 2019 David Mazor


Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection Unveils Cruise Coverage

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Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP), a leading provider of travel insurance, today announced the launch of a new product, WaveCare, which provides travel insurance specifically tailored for the needs of cruise travelers.

“WaveCare is expressly designed for the fastest growing sector of the industry, cruising,” said Dean Sivley, president of Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection. “Our comprehensive solution provides cruisers with higher medical and evacuation coverage limits for their trip and introduces BHTP’s innovative fixed benefit in the event the cruise is disabled along the way.”

Specifically, WaveCare provides:
• Up to $750,000 in medical evacuation coverage, BHTP’s highest limit
• Up to $75,000 in emergency travel medical insurance
• A fixed benefit of $500 when the traveler is confined on board for more than five hours because the cruise ship is disabled
• Comprehensive trip cancellation, interruption, delay, missed connection, and baggage protection
• A pre-existing condition waiver when insurance is purchased within 15 days of the initial trip deposit date
• 24/7 global travel assistance

BHTP has also announced enhancements to its industry-first fixed benefit insurance product for air travelers, AirCare®. Starting at only $26 for domestic and international round-trip flights, AirCare now covers late night delays and flight diversions as well as flight cancellations, flight departure delays, tarmac delays, missed connections, lost baggage, and baggage delays. Travel insurance fixed benefits ensure faster claims payment – no receipts necessary.

BHTP, well known for its revolutionary travel insurance products and services, also provides travelers with an easy “pic-and-a-click” claims process, flight tracking and expedited payments for travel disruptions via BHTP Burst.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

HomeServices of America Picks Up Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty

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Berkshire Hathaway’s HomeServices of America has acquired Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty and its affiliate, Florida Title and Guarantee Agency.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty will continue to be led by Rei Mesa, the brokerage’s CEO and president.

The firm, based in Florida, serves 21 counties from more than 40 locations and with 1,750 salespeople.

The acquisition grows HomeServices’ presence in the Sunshine State.

It acquired EWM Realty International, based in Miami, in 2003, and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty in 2016.

“Rei, together with his executive leadership team, managing brokers, sales support staff and sales professionals, have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to providing exceptional service to their buyers, sellers and property owners,” says Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices of America. “Their culture of service, integrity and community involvement closely aligns with our corporate vision and we are fully committed to their continued growth and success.”

“This is an important transaction to HomeServices and we are looking forward to welcoming Rei and his team to the HomeServices family,” Peltier says.

“We are honored and excited to be joining HomeServices,” says Mesa, who was named a 2019 Real Estate Newsmaker by RISMedia. “They are an outstanding organization with a world-class portfolio of real estate brands and an experienced leadership team. Becoming a member of the HomeServices family of companies gives us a unique opportunity to grow and better serve our customers, sales professionals, and employees.”

HomeServices of America, an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway, is No. 2 in the nation for sales volume and transactions, according to RISMedia’s 2018 Power Broker Report, garnering more than $125.4 billion in sales volume and over 328,350 transactions in 2017.

The company was featured in the June 2018 issue of RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine, and, in May, Peltier, along with six other industry leaders, was inducted into RISMedia’s inaugural Newsmakers Hall of Fame.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty is among the top 10 brokerages in the country in the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network, according to the announcement.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway’s Duracell a Potential Player for Eveready in India

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Duracell and Energizer Holdings’ Eveready brand are competitors in the US market, but India may soon be another story. At least as to who owns the rights to market Eveready for the country.

In India, the Khaitan family, is looking to sell a majority stake in their exclusive right to manufacture and market Eveready batteries.

It’s a valuable market, as India and China make up the largest markets for non-rechargeable batteries. The markets are not only the largest, but consumer demand is pushing their annual growth to a spectacular 6-7 percent rate.

Based in Calcutta, the Khaitans also have the rights to the Energizer brand, as well.

The Khaitans control Eveready Industries India Limited, and in 2015 were reportedly selling 1.2 billion batteries annually.

The 2015 death at age 59 of Deepak Khaitan, who served as Williamson Magor Group’s non-executive vice-chairman, set in motion a division of assets between his wife Yashodhara Khaitan, son Amritanshu Khaitan and daughter Nitya Bangur.

The Khaitans are also well-known as the largest bulk tea producers in the world, through their ownership of McLeod Russel India.

Duracell’s interest in India goes back to 2015, when it hired DKSH to help with the effort. Based in Zurich, Switzerland, the company is a Market Expansion Services Group that focuses on Asia.

Berkshire Hathaway acquired Duracell when it cashed out of its minority stake in Procter & Gamble in 2016, and an expansion into India, where Duracell is not a major player, would be a for a company that already has $2 billion in annual sales.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Johns Manville to Expand Manufacturing in Ohio

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Johns Manville, a global building and specialty products manufacturer, has announced it will make a significant investment toward expanding capacity at its Defiance, Ohio, manufacturing facility.

The expansion will allow Johns Manville to increase the production of its fiberglass pipe insulation products, Micro-Lok® HP and Micro-Lok® HP Ultra.

“We are investing in our mechanical insulation business to meet increasing customer demand for our market-leading fiberglass pipe insulations,” said Mary Rhinehart, President and CEO of Johns Manville. “Our decision to make this investment is an intentional step that positions JM to support our customers in a growing industry.”

JM will begin the capacity expansion project early this year and anticipates the completion of the first new production line in 2020.

“Thanks to the support of our customers, we have seen continued growth in this business since we rebuilt the Defiance pipe insulation plant in 2007,” said Bob Wamboldt, President of JM’s Insulation Systems business. “The growth is a result of market demand and, more importantly, demonstrates a distinct preference for JM’s pipe insulation, Micro-Lok HP and HP Ultra.”

Mike McCann, the mayor of Defiance, said the pipe expansion will benefit the city.

“We are excited that Johns Manville has continued to support our community by investing in its business here,” McCann said. “Naturally, JM’s presence is good for the local economy, and the positive influence JM has on the people and families who live in Defiance is incredibly valuable.”

Jim Swift, the Plant Manager in Defiance, will lead the expansion project.

“JM has been part of the Defiance community for more than 60 years,” Swift said. “We are excited to create more jobs as part of this expansion and to continue supporting community organizations. Our employees have done an excellent job in driving the success of our pipe insulation, and we will continue to focus on providing a consistently high-quality product for our customers.”

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Benjamin Moore Elevates Calkins to Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

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Benjamin Moore & Co., North America’s favorite paint, color and coatings brand, today announced that Dan Calkins, currently President and Chief Operating Officer, has been named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Calkins now reports to Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Greg Abel and succeeds Mike Searles, who retired after five years at the helm of the of the company.

Calkins began his career with the company in 1987 as a sales trainee. Throughout his 32-year tenure with Benjamin Moore & Co., Calkins has held a series of progressively influential and responsible positions, bringing significant leadership, sales and industry expertise to his new post. In recent years, Calkins served as President of Global Sales where he influenced growth and an ambitious strategy for expanding distribution through the independent channel.

“Benjamin Moore & Co. has long established itself as an industry leader, and under Dan Calkins’ guidance, we believe they are primed for an accelerated trajectory into the future,” said Greg Abel, Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman. “Dan embodies the Benjamin Moore core values and both his proven track record and strong business acumen give us incredible confidence for the company’s future success.”

Under Calkins’ leadership, Benjamin Moore & Co. will remain dedicated to the vision of its founder, Benjamin Moore, in 1883: produce the highest quality paints and color in the industry, and deliver them through a nationwide network of knowledgeable, customer-friendly, independent retail locations. With a commitment to research and development unrivaled in the architectural coatings industry, Benjamin Moore & Co. is determined to continue to service its customers including painting contractors, architects, interior designers, national accounts and retailers with the best products and services.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Fleet of BYD Electric Buses to Run in Colombia

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BYD (Build Your Dreams), a world leader and pioneer in battery and zero-emission vehicles, has sold 64 electric buses to Medellín, Colombia’s second largest city.

The order is second in Latin America only to Chile’s order of 100 buses.

The buses will be BYD’s 12.5-meter-long K9G, which has a seating capacity of 80. The buses are have a range of roughly 300 kilometres per charge, with a two hour charging time.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million has grown in value almost ten-fold, and is now worth roughly $1.96 billion.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Expands Team in Europe

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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) has expanded its team in Europe with the appointment of Alfred Barth as Senior Claims Adjuster in Germany.

“Alfred brings extensive experience of managing claims operations, leading coinsurance markets on claims across the world and handling both high volume and high complexity losses. Most importantly, he shares our commitment to providing customers with an excellent claims product,” said Andrew Walker, Head of Claims, BHSI Europe. “We are pleased to have him at the helm bringing our claims service to customers in Germany and throughout Europe.”

Alfred comes to BHSI after nearly four decades at C. Gielisch GmbH in Düsseldorf, where he was most recently Senior Loss Adjuster, Division Manager and an Executive Board Member. He began his career at C. Gielisch in Cologne as a Surveyor and Loss Adjuster. He holds a Diploma in Business Administration from Cologne University of Applied Sciences and is an affiliated member of the Australasian Institute of Chartered Loss Adjusters (AICLA).

BHSI offices in Munich and Düsseldorf underwrite property, casualty, medical malpractice, marine and executive & professional lines for a broad range of business segments in Germany.

Alfred will be based in the BHSI office in Düsseldorf.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Kraft Heinz Completes Acquisition of Primal Nutrition

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The Kraft Heinz Company has completed its acquisition of Primal Nutrition, LLC, makers of Primal Kitchen branded products.

Primal Kitchen is a young, vibrant, better-for-you brand primarily focused on Condiments, Sauces and Dressings including Mayonnaise, Salad Dressings and Avocado Oil, with growing product lines in Healthy Snacks and other categories.

Primal Kitchen will join Kraft Heinz under Springboard, which is Kraft Heinz’s dynamic platform created to partner with founders and brands that will disrupt the food industry.

Leveraging Kraft Heinz’s assets and infrastructure, Primal Kitchen will operate as an autonomous company and continue to be led by its current leadership team. Its headquarters will remain in Oxnard, California.

“Primal Kitchen is an authentic, premium and growing brand that complements our core Condiments & Sauces categories,” said Paulo Basilio, U.S. Zone President for Kraft Heinz. “We are excited to partner with the Company’s strong team to drive growth across multiple categories and reach more consumers looking for these amazing products.”

Mark Sisson, Co-Founder of Primal Kitchen said, “Kraft Heinz recognizes the value of our Primal Kitchen mission and the consumer demand for it. This philosophy will stay with us as we leverage the resources of this new partnership to reach millions more of the consumers who have been seeking products like ours for years.”

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.