Monthly Archives: November 2018

Kraft Heinz to Acquire Primal Kitchen

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

The Kraft Heinz Company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Primal Nutrition, LLC,

Founded by Mark Sisson and Morgan Buehler, 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.

The brand holds leading positions in both e-commerce and natural channels, and is expected to generate approximately $50 million in net sales this year.

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. The combination of Primal Kitchen and Springboard will help to realize Mark Sisson’s vision to change the way the world eats.

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

“The proposed partnership with Primal Kitchen is consistent with Kraft Heinz’s vision to be the best food company, growing a better world. The Primal Kitchen team has built an amazing portfolio of the world’s best-tasting, health-enhancing, real-food pantry staples,” said Paulo Basilio, U.S. Zone President for Kraft Heinz. “Primal Kitchen is an authentic, premium and growing brand that fits perfectly with our core Condiments & Sauces categories, and we are excited to partner with the Company’s strong existing team to drive growth across multiple categories going forward.”

Mark Sisson, Co-Founder of Primal Kitchen said, “My mission has always been to change the way the world eats. With that goal in mind, Primal Kitchen launched in 2015 to offer health-conscious consumers the best possible choices in Condiments, Sauces, Dressings and Healthy Snacks. While our growth to date has exceeded all industry standards and expectations, our partnership with an industry leader like Kraft Heinz now offers an unrivaled opportunity to reach millions more of the consumers who have been seeking products like ours for years. Based on the significant time I’ve spent with the Kraft Heinz team, we share a common vision regarding the future of food and the importance of consumer choices. I look forward to working with them to grow this amazing brand.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed in early 2019. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

© 2018 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.

Pilot Flying J Acquires Wellsite Services Company

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s newest acquisition, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, Pilot Flying J, has announced that it has taken an equity interest in Equipment Transport, LLC, a wellsite services company.

In addition to its travel center business, Pilot Flying J runs the fourth-largest tanker fleet in the U.S.

Pilot’s subsidiary, PDPS LLC, which does business under the name PWT, announced the purchase of equity interests in Equipment Transport, LLC from CIVC Partners, LP.

The acquisition is one of many strategic partnerships made by Pilot Flying J this year to extend its core logistics business and grow its service offerings in the exploration and production sector.

“ET is an exceptional wellsite services platform with a strong reputation for outstanding customer service,” said Shameek Konar, chief strategy officer at Pilot Flying J. “Incorporating ET into our Oil Field Logistics platform provides comprehensive, reliable and cost-effective logistical solutions to the Oil and Gas industry. With Pilot Flying J’s fleet size, safety record, balance sheet and geographic reach across all major oil and gas basins, we hope to enhance ET’s ability to grow its customer base across multiple basins.”

CEO and founder Dave Florance and the rest of ET’s management team will continue to lead the Company as it serves its customers as a one-stop provider of reliable, safe and fully compliant services.

ET, founded in 2007, is a Carlisle, PA-based provider of critical services supporting the drilling, completions, and production programs of exploration and production companies. The Company brings significant value to its customers in the Marcellus and Utica Shales and the Permian Basin through a broad service offering that includes fluid transportation, waste management, and ancillary pad support services. Collectively, ET serves its more than 70 customers through six locations with a highly trained workforce of over 500 employees.

“Since its founding, Dave Florance and the ET management team have grown the business into a best-in-class provider of critical wellsite services, while outperforming the broader oilfield services industry and delivering exceptional organic growth,” said Keith Yamada, partner at CIVC. “We have built a strong partnership over the last six-plus years and know we’ve found the right partner in Pilot Flying J to continue to support ET’s future expansion.”

In June of this year, Pilot Flying J entered into a JV with Produced Water Transfer LLC to form PDPS, operating under the name PWT, and in July acquired Bridger Environmental Services LLC a water disposal platform and the crude transportation assets of Bridger Transportation.

Today, Pilot Flying J and its subsidiaries operate more than 500 trucks and a dozen saltwater disposal wells, providing logistics and disposal services to customers in the Permian, Eagle Ford, Marcellus and Haynesville shales as well as in Wyoming and Utah.

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.

© 2018 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.

BYD Making Major Strides in Brazil

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BYD (Build Your Dreams), a world leader and pioneer in battery and zero-emission vehicles, is making major strides in Brazil.

BYD Americas CEO Stella Li met recently with São Palo Mayor Bruno Covas at the Brazilian Consulate in Los Angeles to discuss zero-emission mobility in one of the world’s most vibrant cities.

Projects in progress across Brazil, include a fleet of 200 electric refuse trucks in Indaiatuba, and a $689 million monorail system in Salvador.

The company is also building a solar panel manufacturing facility in the city of Campinas.

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.

© 2018 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.

Pilot Flying J Announces 3rd Quarter Highlights

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

As Pilot Flying J approaches its 60th anniversary, the travel center operator is celebrating the milestones of its most recent quarter.

During the third quarter of 2018, the Knoxville-based company opened six new locations in the United States and Canada, expanded in four states, paved the way for 250-plus new parking spaces, created 200-plus new jobs, opened 35 more diesel lanes and added 18 more showers.

The travel center company completed three locations under its Facility Enhancement Project, its commitment to investing nearly $500 million to renovate existing locations over the next five years.

The latest project completions occurred at:
• Pilot Travel Center in Marengo, Ohio — completed Aug. 22
• Pilot Travel Center in Van Horn, Texas — completed Sept. 7
• Pilot Travel Center in Orla, Texas — completed Sept. 10

The retailer also accrued a number of new store openings across the U.S. and Canada. Two Pilot Travel Centers opened Aug. 25 in Bartow, Fla., and Odessa, Texas, respectively; and one Flying J Travel Center opened Sept. 22 in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada.

In addition, Pilot Flying J took over and completed remodels at three travel centers: Pilot Travel Center in St. Rose, La., on Sept. 8; Pilot Express in Tucson, Ariz., on Aug. 24; and Pilot Travel Center in Cordes Lake, Ariz., on Sept. 7.

As of September, Pilot Flying J had 17 service centers, with another three service center locations planned to open by the end of this year in El Paso, Texas; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Lake Township, Ohio.

The combined network of more than 750 Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers across North America serves more than 1.6 million customers daily.

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.

© 2018 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.

BYD Shelves Planned Canadian Assembly Plant

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China’s BYD (Build Your Dreams) has scrapped its planned truck manufacturing plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

BYD’s Ted Dowling, Vice President of BYD Canada, was quoted as saying that the plant doesn’t currently make sense for the company.

As to whether it will ever be revisited, “When the business case makes sense, we’ll do it,” Dowling noted.

In December 2017, BYD announced that they would build the assembly plant. “BYD is working on many significant orders that will bring final assembly to the province,” said a statement at that time.

No specific reason has been given for the change in plans.

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.

© 2018 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 Completes TPO Product Line Expansion

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s Johns Manville has completed its TPO product line expansion project in Scottsboro, Ala., to manufacture 12-foot-wide TPO roofing sheets.

“We are proud of the performance with our TPO product line,” said Joe Smith, president of Roofing Systems at Johns Manville. “Our Scottsboro manufacturing facility plays a vital role in ensuring product availability for our North American customers. This second production line increases capacity and our ability to develop products to meet the needs of commercial roofing contractors and distributors.”

TPO is the fastest growing commercial roofing membrane in the U.S. Now, JM can offer 12-foot sheets and 6-foot sheets. The new production gives contractors working on commercial roofing projects more choices to meet their project needs.

“Our goal is always to offer best-in-class products to our customers and to meet their growing business needs,” said Jennifer Ford-Smith, director of sales for JM Roofing Systems. “The 12-foot-wide TPO is a product that many customers have wanted to buy from JM. We are delighted to add the wider sheet to our broad portfolio of roofing products.”

The expansion project to add a second production line will create more than 25 new jobs in Scottsboro. JM expects more jobs will be added in the coming years.

“This plant has been a dynamic part of the Scottsboro community since 2008,” said Jeff Maxson, group plant manager-single ply for JM Roofing Systems. “A larger workforce means we have more opportunity to participate in state and local community activities. We have long enjoyed supporting local food banks, the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life and other important organizations in the community.”

JM’s 12-foot-wide TPO product will be available in all thicknesses – 45, 60 and 80 mils. The new, wider product became available in early July and is at distribution facilities across the country including Scottsboro, Ala.; Rockdale, Ill.; Hazelton, Penn.; Grand Prairie, Texas; and Tracy, Calif.

© 2018 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.

BYD Electric Buses Coming to Denmark

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BYD (Build Your Dreams), a world leader and pioneer in battery and zero-emission vehicles, has received it’s first order for pure electric buses in Denmark.

The order for 27 of BYD’s 12 metre pure electric buses will run in Denkark’s capital, Copenhagen.

The order was received from Danish Bus company, Anchersen, which serves 19 of Movia’s routes in Copenhagen.

The BYD buses will begin operating at the end of 2019 on routes from the north to the south of Copenhagen city, between Emdrup Torv and Lergravsparken.

“Our company is showing that we are ready for the latest developments,” Søren Englund, COO at Anchersen, said. “We are now at the forefront of the transformation of the public transportation environment to zero emission electric power. Our goal is to have the same reliability with the new electric buses as with our current diesel buses. We have entered into an agreement with BYD because thorough investigation has shown us that BYD can meet the demands we and Movia have for the bus of the future.”

“We are pleased to enter the Danish market and participate in the first phase of the transition towards better green public transport,” Isbrand Ho, Managing Director at BYD Europe, said. “With the deployment of our electric buses, the first step has been taken in replacing the diesel buses in Copenhagen. We are looking forward to a successful cooperation with Anchersen A/S, which will be our first partner in Denmark.”

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.

© 2018 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.

Pilot Flying J Names Kevin Wills New CFO

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, announced today that Kevin Wills will join the company as chief financial officer in February 2019.

”With 30-plus years in retail, professional services and utilities, Kevin has the right expertise to contribute immediately to the company’s success in a significant way,” said Ken Parent, president of Pilot Flying J. “His strong financial background will be critical to supporting our goal of being a great place to work and a great place to shop, as well as helping us deliver on making a better day for our guests.”

Wills will oversee day-to-day responsibility for planning, implementing, managing and controlling all financial-related activities. In addition, he will continue to drive financial accountability in all areas of Pilot Flying J. Some of his duties include direct responsibility for company-wide financial operations, accounting, finance, forecasting, strategic planning, deal analysis, negotiations, procurement and aviation.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to join Pilot Flying J, a company that I have long admired,” Wills said. “It has a longstanding track record of excellence, and I am proud to join this talented team and organization.
My focus will be to identify and manage growth opportunities while helping take the company to the next level as an industry-leading travel center operator and retailer. I’m looking forward to ensuring the company’s financial success by leading data-driven decisions and metric-driven accountability.”

Wills joins Pilot Flying J from Tapestry, Inc., (NYSE: TPR), New York, where he is chief financial offer and serves on the executive committee and has responsibility for all financial operations. Prior to Tapestry Inc., he worked at AlixPartners, New York, as chief financial officer and was responsible for global financial operations. He also worked at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York, as executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Wills holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee, and is a certified public accountant. He serves on the board of directors of Tivity Inc. (NASDAQ), as chairman since November 2015.

The combined network of more than 750 Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers across North America serves more than 1.6 million customers daily.

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.

© 2018 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 Real Estate Brand, Intero, Continues to Expand

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Berkshire Hathaway’s real estate brand, Intero, a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire’s HomeServices of America, Inc., has issued a number of announcements for the month of November. They include: Intero has formally acquired the Intero San Jose Almaden franchise office from Brian and Diane McDermott. The office, located at 5580 Almaden Expressway San Jose, CA 95118, is home to more than 60 agents and will be the third Intero company owned location in San Jose.

Other announcements include:

• Hiring industry veteran Scott Chase to lead the Los Altos office. Scott has more than 15 years of experience and most recently was the regional sales manager at Opes Advisors. Scott has a business philosophy that centers on planning and continuous improvement in skills, systems and teams to take care of our customers’ concerns around real estate. He will take over the reins from John Thompson, who will focus on his duties of Chief Culture Officer to drive the company’s community and philosophy.

• Opening a new Burlingame office led by Lana Morin Pierce. Located at 200 Park Road Burlingame, CA 94010, the office is home to more than 35 agents.

• Opening a new Downtown Gilroy office led by William Chea. Located at 7652 Monterey Road Gilroy, CA 95020, the office is slated to officially open on November 30th and will house the 36 agents that currently reside at the First Street office.

“Here at Intero, we are constantly evolving and shifting to keep ahead of the competition,” said Tom Tognoli, Intero President & Chief Executive Officer. “We are very happy about the acquisition of the San Jose Almaden office, as this will help us better service our growing demand in Almaden Valley and beyond. We are thrilled to have Scott Chase join our leadership team as we know he will bring a bolt of energy to our entire organization. We are also excited about our new offices in Burlingame and Gilroy, which will provide a perfect space to serve both our agents and clients.”

© 2018 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.

Pilot Flying J Expands in New Mexico and Florida

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Pilot Flying J has announced that it will open two Pilot locations in Jal, New Mexico, and Jacksonville, Florida, during November.

The locations feature amenities for area residents and the traveling public, while adding 70 truck parking spaces, approximately 100 local jobs and other economic benefits to the communities.

“We’re thrilled to serve the communities of Jal and Jacksonville with the expansion of our network this month to deliver convenience, quality, great service and added value to local residents and professional drivers traveling the nation’s highways,” 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. The addition to our footprint of two new locations will bring the best service and amenities available on the road to travelers passing through these areas.”

The new facilities will bring Pilot Flying J’s network of stores in New Mexico to 16 locations and Florida to 31 locations. Cumulatively, the new locations are expected to contribute $5.7 million annually in state and local tax revenues.

The combined network of more than 750 Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers across North America serves more than 1.6 million customers daily.

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.

© 2018 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.