Category Archives: Acquisitions

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties Acquires Sea Girt and Shrewsbury Offices of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Signature Properties

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties has announced that they have expanded their market service areas in Monmouth and Ocean counties by acquiring the Sea Girt and Shrewsbury offices of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Signature Properties. With this acquisition, the company now has five Monmouth County offices and 21 in total in Northern and Central New Jersey.

“We are thrilled to align ourselves with the outstanding management and sales teams of the Sea Girt and Shrewsbury offices of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Signature Properties,” according to William O. Keleher, Jr., chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties. “Additionally, Bret Violette, former owner and broker-of-record, will continue to support the Sea Girt and Shrewsbury offices while also working closely with our management team, focusing his talents in many ways to assist us in the continued growth of our company.”

“By bringing a higher level of support and corporate services to our new Monmouth County offices, we are certain that we will create better opportunities for our sales associates and in turn, a more powerful value proposition for our clients,” states Christopher Brown, president and general sales manager of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties.

© 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.

Marmon Crane Services Acquires Texas-Based Joyce Crane

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Marmon Crane Services has acquired Texas-based Joyce Crane. Marmon Crane Services is a unit of Berkshire Hathaway’s Marmon Holdings.

Headquartered in Longview, Texas, with additional locations in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana, Joyce Crane serves the heavy duty lifting and rigging needs of refineries, petrochemical companies, and power and manufacturing plants throughout the South and across the country.

“We are excited to welcome Joyce Crane and its employees to Marmon’s global portfolio of crane businesses,” said John Roberts, Sector President of Marmon Crane Service. “Joyce Crane is a company with a strong brand and an excellent service record, and we look forward to its continued growth under Marmon’s ownership.”

The company will continue to operate under the Joyce Crane name and brand. Staff and leadership, including founder Joe Bob Joyce, will remain the same with business support by Marmon Crane Services management.

“This is a very exciting time for Joyce Crane. This agreement is a positive move that will strengthen both companies and benefit all of Joyce Crane’s stakeholders, including our employees, clients, and vendors,” said Joe Bob Joyce, President. “We also remain steadfast in our commitment to the communities where we live and do business.”

Marmon Crane Services is headquartered in Chicago. The company owns and operates one of the largest fleets in the world with more than 1,200 mobile cranes. Its current companies include Procrane and Sterling Crane in Canada and the United States; Advantage Crane, based in Victoria, British Columbia; Freo Group, based in Kwinana, Western Australia; and WGC Cranes, based in Wollongong, New South Wales. Marmon’s crane business originated with Sterling Crane in western Canada in 1954.

Marmon Crane Services is part of Marmon Holdings, Inc., a Chicago-based diversified holding company with operations in 23 countries and 2018 revenues exceeding $8 billion.

Marmon Holdings is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

© 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.

Fontaine Modification Acquires Truck Upfitter ProBilt Services of Ohio

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Fontaine Modification has acquired truck upfitter ProBilt Services of Ohio, Inc., along with the company’s 30,000 sq. ft. facility located less than half a mile from the Kenworth assembly plant in Chillicothe.

The facility, which also has parking for more than 100 trucks, becomes Fontaine’s ninth U.S. modification center.

Fontaine Modification is a Marmon Highway Technologies (MHT) company, and part of The Marmon Group, a Berkshire Hathaway Company.

The team at Fontaine’s new Chillicothe facility will provide fleet in-servicing and vehicle modifications to Kenworth trucks. A ship-thru agreement with Kenworth means customers can have their modifications completed and their trucks made “ready to work” without additional transportation time and expense. Services include equipment and graphics installation, pre-delivery inspections, cab modifications and custom vehicle modifications.

“We’re excited to acquire this well-run operation with a good crew of technicians and a long list of happy customers,” says Paul Kokalis, Fontaine Modification president. “We look forward to putting our more than 30 years of truck post-production leadership to work for Kenworth customers around the country.”

Fontaine operates two additional modification centers in Ohio, one in Springfield and another in Avon Lake. The company also has three locations in North Carolina, two in Texas and one in West Virginia. Fontaine plans to retain ProBilt’s Chillicothe team.

“We’re proud of our Chillicothe team and the business relationships we have made there,” said Toney Fitzgerald, principle owner of ProBilt. “While we are sad to leave Chillicothe, we trust Fontaine Modification will nurture and grow this business to its full potential. This move allows us to focus on our home operation in Denton, Texas.”

© 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.

Lubrizol Acquires Laboratoire Phenobio

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

The Lubrizol Corporation has announced the acquisition of Laboratoire Phenobio, an innovative supplier of naturally-derived extracts and botanical active ingredients. Recognized across the world as a pioneer in botanical extracts and natural performance ingredients, this addition expands Lubrizol’s existing capabilities to provide clean natural ingredients across the cosmetic, nutraceutical and life sciences industries.

Located near the Bordeaux region in France, the company’s unique capabilities in subcritical water extraction (SWE) of botanical biomass, coupled with their energy-economic and eco-responsible technologies provide significant value to Lubrizol’s global sustainability efforts. This expertise includes a technology used to extract phytoactives from botanical raw materials and is also commonly known as pressurized low polarity water (PLPW). The technology involves extraction of a broad range of phytoactives that are not normally obtained with only water.

“Lubrizol continues to invest in innovative technologies to offer step change formulations for the personal care and life sciences markets” states Deb Langer, Lubrizol vice president and general manager of personal, home and healthcare. “With this acquisition, Lubrizol customers will have access to novel botanical extracts compliant with ECOCERT® and COSMOS standards that meet the naturality and sustainability expectations end users are requiring on a global basis. Additionally, our preferred partners will have access to final formulations using this exciting new technology.”

© 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.

Berkadia Acquires Central Park Capital Partners

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkadia, Berkshire Hathaway’s joint venture with Jefferies Financial Group, continues to grow. Berkadia has acquired Central Park Capital Partners, a boutique real estate capital advisory firm focused on arranging joint venture investments and structured capital from international and domestic institutional and qualified capital sources.

CPCP’s Founder and Managing Principal Noam Franklin and Principals Chinmay Bhatt and Cody Kirkpatrick will launch Berkadia’s Structured Capital Group to offer greater support and resources to Berkadia clients.

Mr. Franklin and Mr. Bhatt will be based out of Berkadia’s New York City headquarters, while Mr. Kirkpatrick will operate out of Berkadia’s Denver office.

“With our acquisition of Central Park Capital Partners, we’re redoubling our efforts to make the accessibility of joint venture and structured capital a true differentiator with new levels of personalization and customization for the mutual benefit of our clients,” said Berkadia CEO Justin Wheeler. “As the cycle matures and deal structures become more sophisticated, tapping into a wide range of joint venture capital is critical to our clients. Having worked with Noam, Chinmay and Cody on a number of successful deals, CPCP was the obvious choice for a competitive acquisition.”

“The CPCP team has deep relationships with diverse domestic and international joint venture capital sources and they share our long-term view and dedication to client service,” continued Wheeler. “With the launch of Berkadia’s Structured Capital Group, we’re truly a one-stop shop—enabling clients to take advantage of competitive opportunities in the market in a more streamlined manner and driving greater value.”

In 2018, Berkadia completed over $34 billion in combined mortgage banking and investments sales production across more than 1800 transactions.

“We’ve been working closely with the Berkadia team recently and have been impressed that they share our targeted approach to client engagement and deal execution,” said Mr. Franklin. “We have strong domestic and international capital relationships, particularly in the Middle East, Canada, Europe and Asia.”

“In joining Berkadia, we’re bringing a diverse roster of new capital sources to the table, creating enhanced joint venture matchmaking opportunities backed by best-in-class insight, technology and experience,” continued Mr. Franklin. “Considering current market conditions, owners and developers are looking beyond their traditional partners and seeking to grow their stable of joint venture funding sources in order to capitalize deals. As Berkadia’s Structured Capital Group, we’re well positioned to meet this challenge and create synergies that will drive results for all stakeholders.”

About Berkadia

Founded in 2009 as a 50/50 joint venture between Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia National Corporation (now known as Jefferies Financial Group), Berkadia is a third-party commercial mortgage servicer, as well as an approved lender for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD/FHA.

The company is among the top Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae multifamily lenders.

Berkadia owes its origins to GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corporation, which was acquired in 2009 by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Five Mile Capital Partners LLC, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners. Christened Capmark Financial, the company had $10 billion of originations in 2008 and a servicing portfolio of more than $360 billion before running into bankruptcy in October 2009.

In a deal approved by the bankruptcy court, Capmark sold its mortgage loan and servicing to the newly formed Berkadia in a deal worth $515 million.

The deal brought Berkshire into the heart of the commercial loan serving business, and the company has one of the largest commercial real estate servicing portfolios.

© 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 HomeServices Knight & Gardner Realty of Key West Acquires Market Leading Brokerage in Marathon & Lower Florida Keys

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Knight & Gardner Realty has acquired a Middle Keys brokerage formerly operated as Christie’s-affiliated American Caribbean Real Estate of the Middle & Lower Keys.

The latter now operates as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Keys Real Estate.

Through the union, Knight & Gardner Realty gains a market-leading brokerage, 24 seasoned agents and access to the vibrant Lower and Middle Keys markets. Ginger Henderson, 35-year owner of the brokerage operating as American Caribbean Real Estate of the Middle & Lower Keys, will remain with Keys Real Estate as an agent and mentor to the group.

“We are thrilled to join forces with one of the most respected brokerages in the Florida Keys,” said Will Langley, president of Knight & Gardner Realty and Keys Real Estate. “Ginger and her team are highly regarded in the region for their skill, integrity and expertise in resort and high-end property. We’re proud they will represent our growing brokerage family and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network.”

Henderson, who wanted to focus more on her sizeable book of business in the region, sought an acquisition that would bring her agents a respected brand and suite of tools and resources to help them grow their businesses.

“I spoke to many suitors,” she explained. “For me, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Knight & Gardner Realty was the obvious choice. The Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand carries the name of one of the world’s most trusted and respected corporations, and Knight & Gardner Realty is the top-rated brokerage in the Florida Keys. Together, we’ll sell a lot of real estate and satisfy many more clients.”

With their network membership, Keys Real Estate agents gain access to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Global Network Platform, a powerful tool suite driving lead generation, marketing support, social media, video production/distribution and more. The network also provides global listing syndication, relocation referrals, professional education and the exclusive Luxury Collection marketing program for high-end listings.

Gino Blefari, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, applauded the merger. “The combination of Knight & Gardner Realty and Keys Real Estate will dominate the Florida Keys for years to come,” he said. “We’re eager to support this growing brokerage family every step of the way.”

© 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

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

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

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

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.

Kraft Heinz Completes Acquisition of Primal Nutrition

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

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.

Hedge Fund Opposes Kraft Heinz’s Campbell’s Bid

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Unhappy with its large position in Kraft Heinz, Czech Republic-based hedge fund Krupa Global Investments is threatening to wage a proxy fight over a possible Kraft Heinz bid for Campbell Soup Co.’s international business.

Kraft Heinz and Mondelez, along with private equity firms Bain Capital LP, KKR and FinTrek Capital Hong Kong Co., are reportedly the approved bidders for an auction that will see the winner gain Campbell’s Australian cookie brand Arnott’s and its Danish baked-snacks maker Kelsen Group.

“This auction process may be great for Dan Loeb and Campbell’s Soup but it does nothing for Kraft Heinz and its shareholders,” said KGI Chairman Pavol Krupa in a statement. “Campbell’s Soup is selling its international assets for a reason thus we are concerned that these assets could be a drain on Kraft Heinz’s profitability and add to its debt. We strongly oppose Kraft Heinz’s participation in this auction and will organize a strong campaign against it if necessary.”

KGI has been campaigning for an $80/share buyout of public investors by Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway.

KGI cites a recent piece by Daniel Thurecht in Seeking Alpha backing up KGI’s $80/share valuation published on November 20, 2018 and a piece by Lauren Hirsch in CNBC underscoring the benefits of large legacy consumer companies going private published on October 27, 2018.

“We do not believe Warren Buffett wants his career tarnished by the embarrassment of losing Kraft Heinz investors 40 percent of their investments from 2015 prices. We are liaising with Kraft Heinz management, 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway to figure out a constructive solution that will benefit Berkshire Hathaway, 3G, Kraft Heinz shareholders, and the Kraft Heinz brand. We believe such a resolution is possible and will not rest until one is achieved,” added Krupa.

© 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.