Monthly Archives: January 2020

Lubrizol’s Lipofoods Brand Moved to Health Business of Lubrizol Life Science

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On January 1, Lubrizol’s Lipofoods SLU became a part of the Health Business of Lubrizol Life Science (LLS Health), strengthening the organization’s global presence and providing support to advance its growth in the rapidly developing nutraceutical market.

The Lipofoods brand, was previously part of the Lubrizol Life Science Beauty business.

Lipofoods Nutraceutical Ingredients is now the umbrella brand for the new Nutraceutical Division within LLS Health and includes all existing brands and product platforms for microencapsulated minerals and botanicals.

The transition gives the Lipofoods brand strong global infrastructure for driving more innovative solutions to the expanding nutraceuticals market.

“Over the last few years, the Lipofoods brand has experienced rapid growth and scale-up,” says David Padró, Business Unit Manager of the Nutraceuticals Division of LLS Health. “This has propelled the need for a larger structure to meet the demands of the fast-changing, highly segmented global nutraceuticals marketplace. This new structure will bring technology and scientific support to active ingredients with functional performance attributes.”

The newly formed Nutraceutical Division will leverage the broad range of internal Lubrizol capabilities for improving bioavailability and oral delivery for its portfolio of active ingredients. It will benefit from LLS Health’s technological platforms, well established applications expertise, global sales and marketing structures, operations and regulatory know-how to continue developing the nutraceuticals market, while keeping the current sales structure and distribution network.

“The addition of the Lipofoods brand to our portfolio will boost Lubrizol’s exposure to the nutraceuticals market and complement our product offerings in the health and wellness industry,” adds Barbara Morgan, Global Business Director for Pharmaceutical Solutions of LLS Health. “This illustrates our holistic commitment to improve health outcomes by providing expertise that accelerates customers’ growth through expanded access to innovative nutraceutical platforms.”

© 2020 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.

Chicago’s Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Starck Real Estate Adds QuickBuy

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Starck Real Estate, one of Chicagoland’s largest and most experienced real estate organizations, has introduced QuickBuy™, an alternative home sale option made available through a partnership with Moving Station, LLC, a leading U.S. iBuyer since 2012.

The relationship allows Starck Real Estate to present Midwest home sellers with a reliable “instant” offer for their home as an alternative to a traditional home sale. Consumers who request a QuickBuy™ offer from Starck can enjoy the certainty and convenience of an immediate offer with the expertise and guidance of a knowledgeable agent. Homes must qualify for the program before an offer is made. But once the seller accepts a QuickBuy™ offer, the home may close in as few as 14 days.

There is no cost for consumers to request a QuickBuy™ offer and home sellers in Northern Illinois are free to explore this new option through their local Starck Real Estate brokerage.

“Our business has always focused on the needs of consumers and adding an instant buying option is just one more way to respond to our clients and give them more choice and control over the sale of their home,” states Aaron Starck, President of Starck Real Estate. “The web is increasingly crowded with real estate algorithms and home value estimates, but the majority of consumers look to their local real estate broker for superior market intel and trusted guidance for their real estate transaction. People simply can’t get that from the internet,” he continued.

For sellers who want to test the sale of their home on the market to find a better price, but with the assurance of a cash buyout, if the home does not sell, they can also select QuickBuy™ Lock. If the home does not sell in 150 days, the seller can accept the QuickBuy™ Lock offer to close in 180 days.

Seller’s homes are qualified over the phone and after a visit from a Starck Broker, if the home qualifies, QuickBuy™ will generate an offer put together by our real estate professionals with over 25 years of residential property experience. The Starck broker will present the offer to the seller and upon acceptance typical home inspection will follow. If the offer is rejected, the agent will provide other home sale options.

© 2020 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 Buses Pass Altoona Test

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BYD (Build Your Dreams) has announced that its American-built K11M 60-foot battery-electric, articulated public transit bus successfully completed the Federal Transit Administration Model Bus Testing Program in Altoona, Pa.

The K11M, which exceeds all Buy America requirements, became the first articulated bus to successfully complete the new FTA “Pass/Fail” protocol and is the only five-door model to do so.

As a result, U.S. transit agencies can use FTA funding to buy the BYD K11M. Several agencies, including the Antelope Valley Transit Authority, based in Lancaster, Calif., Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and IndyGo in Indianapolis, have already deployed the model.

“This is a milestone for battery-electric buses, and clearly highlights the style, innovation, and safety features that are hallmarks of the BYD brand,” said BYD North America President Stella Li. “Not only are these American-built buses safe, they are quiet and comfortable and contribute to better air quality and a higher standard of living in our communities.”

In September, BYD’s K11M became the first battery-electric transit bus of its size to complete the full 15,000-mile durability test in an impressive 106 days and requiring a minimum amount of maintenance, setting a high bar for all other bus manufacturers.

BYD’s 60-foot articulated transit bus is ideal for high-volume passenger operations, providing service with less noise and vibration. Depending on the configuration, the bus can accommodate up to 89 passengers. It has a range of up to 220 miles and can be fully charged in three to four hours.

The K11M is built at BYD’s Coach & Bus factory in Lancaster, Calif. All of BYD’s zero-emission buses not only meet but also exceed FTA Buy America requirements, incorporating more than 70% U.S. content.

BYD is the first battery-electric bus manufacturer that has both a unionized workforce and a Community Benefits Agreement, which sets goals for hiring veterans, single parents, second chance citizens, and others facing hurdles in obtaining manufacturing employment.

BYD offers the widest range of battery-electric bus and coach models in the United States, ranging from 23-foot motor coaches on up to the 60-foot K11M.

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.

© 2020 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 to Change Corporate Name

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Pilot Flying J, the 14th largest private company in America, will change its corporate name to Pilot Company, according to the Haslam family.

Pilot Company will now be the umbrella name for the company’s over all business.

The change will include a new logo that that is inspired by the first Pilot gas station founded by chairman Jim Haslam.

Pilot will still operate its various brands under their current names, such as Pilot, Flying J, Mr. Fuel, PJ Fresh, Pilot Coffee, and its PFJ Energy brands, including BunkerHill, Tartan Oil, Saratoga, Pro Petroleum, and Pilot Water Solutions.

“If you pull up to a Pilot, it’s going to be a Pilot,” Haslam Johnson said on Knox News. “If you pull up to a Flying J, it’s going to be a Flying J. Same thing on the energy side of the business. So I think it’s less about that side of it and more about grounding us under one company with all of these different brands.”

Berkshire Hathaway and Pilot

In 2017, Berkshire Hathaway made a $2.76 billion investment in Pilot Travel Centers. Under the terms of the agreement, the Haslam family will continue to own a majority of Pilot Flying J and Jimmy Haslam will remain as chief executive officer. Pilot Flying J President Ken Parent and the Company’s management team will also remain in place. The Company will continue to be headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Berkshire will become the majority owner in two more years.

© 2020 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 Build Polyiso Production Plant in Texas

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Johns Manville, a global building and specialty products manufacturer that is a Berkshire Hathaway company, plans to build a polyiso production plant in Hillsboro, Texas.

“We take great pride in creating and delivering the best products for our customers,” said Mary Rhinehart, President and CEO of Johns Manville. “This expansion south of Dallas/Fort Worth, in an area where construction is surging, will increase availability of our premium products to customers throughout the region.”

JM will begin construction on the new production facility later this year, pending various government approvals, and anticipates the completion in mid-2021. When complete, JM will employ more than 50 people at the new facility.

“There are tremendous growth opportunities in the Southwest for polyiso products,” said Joe Smith, President of JM’s Roofing Systems business. “Three of the 10 largest cities in the country are a short drive from Hillsboro, and some of our largest roofing contractors are located within the service area.”

The Hillsboro plant will manufacture polyiso products including ENRGY 3® roof insulation, ProtectoR® HD high density cover board, AP® Foil Faced Foam sheathing and GoBoard® tile backer. These polyiso products are preferred in the market due to their high R-value per inch and the lightweight strength and durability they offer for several building applications.

The Hillsboro facility will also include a JM roofing distribution center. The warehouse will stock many JM products, including TPO and TPO accessories, to help JM meet local demand.

“We are excited to build in an area close to our customers and where we can hire good people into the JM family to help our customers be successful,” said Matt Sayer, Polyiso and Boards Product Manager for JM. “Johns Manville will be well-positioned with this expansion to increase product supply to meet the growing demand from our customers.”
Local officials welcomed JM’s decision to expand in Hillsboro.

“Johns Manville is an important addition to the manufacturing and industrial base in Hillsboro,” said Hillsboro City Manager Frank Johnson. “Johns Manville has a long-term, stable national and international presence and is known to be a good corporate citizen. We are excited to have them become part of our community.”

© 2020 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 Harbour Industries Approved for F-35 Fighter Program

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Harbour Industries is now an approved manufacturer for a number of low-loss coax and high-speed data cables used on Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lighting II 5th generation fighter aircraft.

Based in Shelburne, Vermont, Harbour Industries is owned by Berkshire Hathaway through its conglomerate, Marmon Holdings. The company is a premier manufacturer of Data; RF; and Mil-spec wire and cable.

Since 1965, Harbour Industries has been manufacturing high temperature and high performance cable for the military, commercial, and industrial markets. The Shelburne facility manufactures a wide range of wire and cable products utilizing numerous conductors, insulating compounds, braid wire, and jacketing materials.

Robert Canny, President said, “We look forward to supporting the 2020 F-35 Sustainment Contract just released by the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin. Harbour has a long reputation of providing timely products to our business partners to support their ramp to full production.” Declared “combat ready” by the commander of the US Air Combat Command, this next generation aircraft provides capabilities needed on the modern battlefield. The F-35 provides air superiority, interdiction, suppression of enemy air defenses and close air support with unprecedented situational awareness of the battle space that will be more extensive than any single-seat platform in existence.

Harbour’s data and coaxial cables were chosen based on the use of a composite fluoropolymer insulation ensuring light-weight and high-speed transmission. Harbour is known as a supplier that has product and process engineering expertise that ensures the highest quality cables will be manufactured in exact accordance with Lockheed’s demanding physical and electrical requirements.

As the F-35 moves toward full rate production, Harbour is ready for the challenge to supply increased volume on-time with unmatched quality.

© 2020 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.

Clayton Goes Solar to Power Texas Facility

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton, a Tennessee-based home builder of site-built and off-site built homes, has installed its first 200 kilowatt solar carport system at its Clayton Sulphur Springs home building facility in Texas.

The system was installed by Solar One, and will allow the company to offset 30 to 40 percent of the facility’s on-demand electricity use with renewable energy, while providing shade for its team members’ vehicles.

“Our new solar carport system not only serves as a cost savings tool but also as a pivotal example of Clayton’s commitment to sustainable building and innovation,” said Gavin Mabe, director of engineering and technology at Clayton. “Our team is very proud to further promote our national green building initiative by creating clean renewable energy that our facility will use to build hundreds of homes every year.”

The new solar power system has the potential to help Clayton Sulphur Springs’ team save just over $24,000 per year in energy costs. To enhance the company’s team member experience, the solar panels were installed in the parking lot to provide shade for team member vehicles and ensure a safer ground location for long-term maintenance of the solar carport system.

“We hope this new solar panel system will serve as a test for further renewable energy enhancements across Clayton,” said Don McCann, general manager of Clayton Sulphur Springs. “Our company is dedicated to tapping smarter, sustainable energy sources and innovative technology to create a cleaner building process for our Clayton Built® homes.”

The solar carport installation is part of ongoing efforts to utilize sustainable building and innovation practices at Clayton. The Clayton Sulphur Springs facility, along with all 40 Clayton off-site home building facilities around the nation, have earned ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 14001 registration for their sustainable building practices. This highly regarded registration helps ensure that sustainable building guidelines are implemented to promote green practices that increase recycling, reduce energy use and decrease landfill waste.

© 2020 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.

Intero Promotes Renee Kunz and Adds Chris Moles

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Intero has promoted Renee Kunz to Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. In addition, the company is also excited to introduce Chris Moles as Managing Officer of the Silver Creek office, located in San Jose, California.

Intero, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and wholly owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America Inc., serves Northern California with 18 offices throughout the greater Silicon Valley. The Intero Franchise network is comprised of 55 affiliates located in Alabama, California, Nevada, Tennessee and Texas. The company is headquartered in California’s Silicon Valley.

Renee Kunz is a seasoned real estate professional that has been with Intero since the foundation in 2002 running Intero’s Hollister office. This office under Kunz’s leadership has maintained #1 market share for many years and was recognized as the best real estate office by Best of San Benito County in 2019. She is a third-generation REALTOR® and was inspired by her mother, Marilyn Ferreira, a real estate icon in San Benito County, who has been practicing real estate for almost 50 years.

In this new role, Kunz will be leading the charge with all of Intero’s strategic partners. The current partners include Prosperity Mortgage and Orange Coast Title. This role will continue to evolve as Intero adds additional ancillary services in the future.

“I am so excited about this new opportunity with Intero,” said Renee Kunz, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. “Having been a licensed broker for more than 30 years and using my knowledge gained from leadership roles from the past and with Intero, I feel I can bring a unique perspective to help elevate our strategic partnerships to new heights.”

“Renee is smart, creative and most of all, she’s a team player,” said Brian Crane, Chief Executive Officer of Intero. “She has consistently demonstrated her ability to collaborate with our existing strategic partners to help grow our capture rates. I look forward to her helping assist our leadership team to deepen our relationships with existing, as well as future partners.”

A real estate industry veteran, Chris Moles has been with Intero for more than 10 years in the role of General Counsel. His counterpart, Heather Wang, will remain at the Cupertino Headquarters in her current role as Corporate Counsel.

Moles brings a wealth of knowledge, skills and pedigree to this new role. In addition to his extensive real estate legal background, Moles has the industry in his blood. His father, Bob Moles, had an illustrious regional and national real estate career and was a co-owner of Intero and his late uncle, Kevin Moles, was one of the founding members of Intero, opening the first Intero office in Morgan Hill, California.

“I was seeking a more active role on the sales side of the real estate business,” said Chris Moles, Intero Managing Officer. “I am so excited by this new opportunity and can’t wait to jump in with both feet to help our Silver Creek agents become the best in the business.”

“Chris has been a huge asset to Intero and Intero agents over the years as our General Counsel,” said Brian Crane, Chief Executive Officer of Intero. “Chris is the ideal person to help our REALTORS® in Silver Creek grow and build successful careers.”

© 2020 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 Homestate Companies using AI Technology

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Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies, a group of six insurance carriers that are part of the Berkshire Hathaway insurance group, has selected CLARA analytics, the leading provider of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in the commercial insurance industry, in order to advance its workers’ compensation claims operations.

BHHC will integrate the full suite of CLARA products, including CLARA providers, CLARA litigation and CLARA claims as well as its popular Medicare Set-Aside solution.

“AI offers an unprecedented opportunity to improve the entire claims process by analyzing millions of data points — making connections, spotting trends, and developing meaningful insights in a matter of seconds,” said Russ Selinger, Senior Vice President of Claims at Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies.

CLARA products utilize AI and advanced machine learning to deliver key insights that help commercial insurance organizations increase efficiency and make data-driven decisions that substantially improve operations as well as client service. This comprehensive product suite empowers teams to reduce loss costs incurred in claims handling by keeping claims on track throughout their life cycle.

“BHHC is one of the most respected companies in the insurance landscape, always focused on providing compassionate care to recovering workers and superior service to its customers,” said Gary Hagmueller, CEO of CLARA analytics. “CLARA will help BHHC further differentiate itself by facilitating and informing the claims process in incredible new ways. Our platform will deliver powerful insights to claims representatives, turning them into instant experts who can handle each claim with precision, respect and empathy at scale.”

© 2020 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 Adds Fee-Based Reserved Parking for Truckers

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Pilot Flying J, the 14th largest private company in America, has added fee-based, reserved parking for truckers.

Noting that professional drivers deserve the comfort and convenience of knowing when and where they are able to park, Pilot Flying J is helping to ease the stress and concern of parking by offering Prime Parking at more than 390 locations nationwide, allowing their guests to reserve one of a limited number of parking spaces.

The cost for Prime Parking ranges from $12-$18 depending on the location.

In 2017, Berkshire Hathaway made a $2.76 billion investment in Pilot Travel Centers.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Haslam family will continue to own a majority of Pilot Flying J and Jimmy Haslam will remain as chief executive officer. Pilot Flying J President Ken Parent and the Company’s management team will also remain in place. The Company will continue to be headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Berkshire will become the majority owner in two more years.

© 2020 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.