Category Archives: Acquisitions

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.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty Texas Acquires CEDA Realty

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty Texas today announced the acquisition of CEDA Realty, a 90-agent brokerage serving the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex from Plano. The transaction gives PenFed Realty Texas broader coverage of the region, a skilled agent team and a powerful training division.

CEDA’s Managing Broker and owner Steve Goff will remain with PenFed Realty Texas as vice president of Career Development, overseeing professional advancement for the entire enterprise. Goff, with 46 years of real estate experience, is one of the region’s foremost real estate trainers and a productive agent recruiter.

“We are delighted to welcome Steve Goff and the CEDA Realty team to PenFed Realty Texas,” said Russell Rhodes, president of the brokerage. “Steve is so well respected in our industry and his agents are talented and prepared. They are an ideal fit for our company and will help us grow in the Metroplex.”

Goff is eager to start the next chapter in his storied real estate career. “My team couldn’t be in a better place than with PenFed Realty Texas,” he explained. “As for me, the greatest joy in my professional career is to share the experience, knowledge and skills that I developed over 46 years with younger agents, so they can be their best in a short period of time. I get to train professionals and I couldn’t be happier about it.”

Rhodes is a world-class production leader and founder of The Russell Rhodes Team, which set sales standards for years through relentless client service and abundant referral business. As head of PenFed Realty Texas, Rhodes is an agent-centric leader with a simple goal: “We want to help our agents grow their business by 20% per year,” he said. “To do so you have to have really good training and the right procedures and mindset.”

The combination of Rhodes and his sales managers, with Goff and his training vision, spells more growth for PenFed Realty Texas. Beyond training, the brokerage added a group in its marketing department to oversee new media, including video production and social media outreach. The overall objective is to provide agents with the support they need, which allows them to focus on what they do best: serve home buyers and sellers.

“We are fully invested in the success of our agents,” Rhodes said. “Our management mindset is roll up your sleeves and help the sales team be their best for their clients.”

PenFed Realty Texas is currently home to 430 agents working from eight offices. Rhodes said his goal is to add as many as 100 agents over the next year. “We are proud and excited for the future,” he explained. “We have a growing team that loves the real estate business and is passionate about helping people reach their homeownership dreams. As important, we have the resources and systems in place to help our agents continually develop and achieve.”

Gino Blefari, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, congratulated Rhodes and Goff on the union. “These fine companies are well suited, and their merger brings many benefits for PenFed Realty Texas and real estate consumers in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex,” he said. “We’re excited to continue supporting the brokerage and its growth for years to come.”

© 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.

New York’s Top Medical Liability Insurer Now a Berkshire Hathaway Company

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

MLMIC Insurance Company (formerly known as Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company) (“MLMIC”), has completed a conversion from a property and casualty mutual insurance company to a property and casualty stock insurance company and its acquisition by National Indemnity Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.

As a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, MLMIC will have enhanced capacity and financial strength to continue to serve New York State physicians, hospitals and dentists as it has for over 40 years. MLMIC remains the largest underwriter of medical professional liability insurance in New York and continues to be a New York‐focused medical malpractice writer regulated by New York State. It will be operated by the same Board of Directors and staff that have served the market well for several decades.

Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO stated, “MLMIC is a gem of a company that has protected New York’s physicians, mid‐level providers, hospitals and dentists like no other for over 40 years. We are delighted to add them to the Berkshire Hathaway family and enhance their capacity to serve these and other policyholders for many years to come.”

© 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.

Kraft Heinz Canada Acquires Ethical Bean Coffee

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Kraft Heinz Canada, a subsidiary of The Kraft Heinz Company, has acquired the assets of Ethical Bean Coffee.

Founded in 2003, Ethical Bean Coffee is a leading roaster of 100% Fairtrade, certified organic coffee. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Ethical Bean is committed to social responsibility, global awareness and environmental accountability.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Carlos Piani, President of Kraft Heinz Canada said: “Kraft Heinz Canada is continuously looking for ways to deliver superior quality, extensive variety, and finer products to Canadians. We believe quality coffee starts at the source, which involves responsible sourcing and supporting the hard-working dedicated farmers at origin. The acquisition of Ethical Bean Coffee reinforces our pledge to the sustainable health of our people, our planet and our Company.”

Lloyd Bernhardt, co-founder of Ethical Bean stated: “We are proud of what Ethical Bean has been able to accomplish over the past fifteen years, building a brand with a solid reputation across North America for great tasting coffee, that is sustainably sourced. With Kraft Heinz’s expertise and scale, we’re confident that Ethical Bean Coffee will continue to deliver on that reputation to a much wider audience.”

Ethical Bean Coffee is a leading roaster of 100% Fairtrade Certified Organic coffee. Co-founders Lloyd Bernhardt — recognized by Business in Vancouver’s “Top 40 under 40”, and Kim Schachte — an award-winning graphic designer, are committed to social responsibility, global awareness, and environmental accountability.

Their journey to Guatemala in 1999 to adopt their daughter forever changed their lives, sparking a passion for the culture of the country and inspiring a desire to better the lives of the farmers and families living and working in the coffee industry. The couple returned to Vancouver and in 2003 launched Ethical Bean Coffee. What began as a small operation with one employee has grown into an international success.

© 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 HomeServices Florida Adds Charity & Weiss International Realty

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty has acquired Charity & Weiss International Realty, LLC, expanding into the Sarasota & Manatee Counties.

The expansion will allow the new company and affiliation to gain access to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Global Network Platform for lead generation, marketing support, video production and social media—along with access to listing distribution, relocation referrals, professional education and the Luxury Collection marketing program for high-end listings.

Charity & Weiss International Realty, LLC—founded in 2006 by Broker/Owners Gabriele Charity and Ruediger Weiss—specializes in international and domestic real estate, property management and commercial sales.

Charity and Weiss will stay on as team leaders of the group at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty.

“Charity & Weiss and its sales professionals are perfect additions to our operations in the Sarasota/Manatee area,” said Rei L. Mesa, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty, in a statement. “The firm is known for their strong leadership, exceptional customer service and a high level of professionalism. We’re proud to welcome Gabi, Rudi and their dedicated team to our Family of Services.”

“We are excited to have the professional and well-respected, multi-lingual Charity & Weiss team join our company and to continue their long-standing tradition of growth with exceptional service—now coupled with our brand, tools and global resources,” remarked Elaine Glandon, regional vice president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty.

“We view our network membership as an investment in our sales professionals,” said Charity. “These resources alone will help our sales professionals take their businesses and service to new heights. Ultimately, that’s great news for real estate consumers throughout the region.”

“Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty’s core values, active global expansion, vision and technology platform are an excellent match for our team. We believe that the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty brand will resonate extremely well with our customers and sales professionals alike,” commented Weiss.
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© 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 HomeServices Enters Metairie, Louisiana Market

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices United Properties has entered the percolating Metairie, Louisiana market and added one of the region’s most productive agents and teams, Shaun McCarthy and his McCarthy Group, REALTORS.

The agreement gives United Properties a third office beyond its Baton Rouge headquarters and Central city location. McCarthy and the McCarthy Group, REALTORS team will continue operating from their existing Metairie office at 530 Metairie Road as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices United Properties.

Combined, the company has 86 agents.

“We’ve had our eye on the Metairie market for a long time,” said Jonathan Starns, brokerage founder and co-owner. “Yet to do so and add the most productive and respected office in the region, we feel we’ve hit a grand-slam home run.”

“We are proud and excited to join forces with Shaun and his team,” added Chase Muller, brokerage founder and co-owner. “The group is skilled, experienced and the best for its clients. They have a terrific service ethic and will represent our brokerage and our brand well.”

McCarthy, a native of the region, brings to the brand more than 25 years of local real estate experience. He said the United Properties alliance, combined with the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand and its marketing and technology might, will help his team grow business to new heights.

“Jonathan Starns and Chase Muller are strong and respected operators; we’re happy to be part of their team,” McCarthy said. “In addition, our new brand carries the name of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., one of the world’s most respected corporations. The network’s digital-advertising platform, created in conjunction with VaynerMedia, generates huge attention; and its real estate technology is top of class with exciting innovations on the drawing board. With all these resources at our fingertips, it’s up to us to do what we do best – sell real estate and make our Metairie-area clients happy.”

As part of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, McCarthy and his team gain access to the brand’s Global Network Platform, a powerful tool suite driving lead generation, marketing support, social media, video production/distribution and more. The brand also provides international listing syndication, relocation referrals, professional education and the exclusive Luxury Collection marketing program for high-end, resort-style listings.

Muller sees continued growth across the United Properties enterprise. “Our company thrives on attracting the finest and most experienced professionals in the marketplace, and then standing on our heads to ensure our clients achieve their real estate goals and aspirations,” he said. “We believe United Properties and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand present a compelling option for local real estate consumers and professionals alike.”

Gino Blefari, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, applauded United Properties’ union with McCarthy and his team, and its entrance to the Metairie market. “Jonathan Starns and Chase Muller reinforced the significance of their company name by uniting one of the most successful teams in the state of Louisiana,” Blefari said. “I commend Shaun McCarthy for making this commitment to the future growth of his skilled and successful team.”

© 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.

TTI Acquires Compona AG of Switzerland

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s TTI, Inc. has acquired privately held Compona AG of Switzerland and the company’s German subsidiary Cosy Electronics GmbH.

Both Compona and Cosy are specialty distributors of interconnect products and provide services such as in-house assembly of specific connector ranges and full support on custom cable harnesses. The Compona Group is well known for their technical expertise, consistent quality and on-time delivery. Compona CEO, Riet Morell, will continue to lead Compona AG reporting to Glyn Dennehy, TTI President, EMEA.

The combined revenue and market share of TTI and Compona will create the largest specialty distributorship of interconnect, passive and electromechanical products in Switzerland. Cosy GmbH will expand the TTI footprint in Germany while also enhancing value added capabilities and technical expertise. In the face of increasing international competition, Compona’s business will benefit from TTI’s broad and deep stocking strategy and global warehouse network.

Dennehy said of the acquisition, ““We are proud to be bringing Compona and Cosy’s experienced and talented team, plus their high quality and specialist supplier line card, into the TTI Family of Companies and welcome the opportunity to enhance their already preferred status with their customer base.”

Urs Horat, founder and former owner of Compona AG, describes the acquisition as a perfect match. “After succession could not be found within the family and company, solutions were sought externally. We wanted to find a new owner who respects the values of the founders, appreciates the employees and supports the business in the long term. With TTI, we have found an internationally highly successful company that wants to continue to maintain the Compona brand, help to secure the future and to further expand its business.” Horat continued. “No changes are expected for employees and customers. The management team under CEO Riet Morell also remains unchanged.”

Paul Andrews, TTI Founder and Chief Executive Officer, welcomed his new associates, “It is a special occurrence when one family-founded business is able to offer another the next chapter for their employees and customers – we welcome the fine employees and customers of Compona and Cosy to the TTI and Berkshire Hathaway family.”

© 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.

BNSF Logistics Acquires Unlimited Freight

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

BNSF Logistics, a multi-modal third-party logistics service provider, has acquired Unlimited Freight, located in New Braunfels, Texas.

This acquisition strengthens BNSF Logistics’ service offering for flatbed movements across North America and provides additional local resources to support this global company.

“We are excited to add Unlimited Freight to our family,” BNSF Logistics President Dan Curtis said. “This addition brings talented employees with deep industry experience as well as valuable new customers to our rapidly growing organization and aligns with our goal to increase our geographic footprint.”

© 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.

Kraft Heinz Covets Campbell

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Kraft Heinz is looking to acquire Campbell according to a report in the New York Post.

According to the Post, Kraft Heinz assumes that the soup company’s strategic review will lead to a sale, especially after its stock has tumbled 21% in the past six months, and it wants to be first in line.

In addition to its familiar soups, Campbell owns a host of top brands, including Pepperidge Farm breads, cookies and Goldfish crackers; Royal Dansk and Kjeldsens cookies; V8 beverages; Bolthouse Farms beverages, carrots and dressings; Plum Organics baby food; Swanson broths; Prego pasta sauces; Garden Fresh Gourmet fresh refrigerated salsas, dips and hummus, and Pace sauces.

Campbell has been seeking to spur its own growth through acquisition. In March, Campbell created a new snack division after its $4.87 billion cash acquisition of snack-maker Snyder-Lance. The deal was financed with $5.3 billion of bonds.

The company is projecting $10 billion in annual revenue from its snack brands, however the acquisition price was considered steep to say the least.

Ask any analyst about potential Berkshire Hathaway acquisitions and Campbell usually finds its way on the list.

Kraft Heinz was rebuffed in its megadeal for Unilever in February 2017, so smaller deals look to be the way forward for now.

With 3G Capital’s Bernardo Hees at the helm, Kraft Heinz has been in relentless cost-cutting mode since 2015, and Campbell has been in the midst of its own $500 million effort, so it’s not clear how much more savings Kraft Heinz can wring out of it.

In any case, Kraft Heinz, which is in third place worldwide among global food conglomerates, is clearly looking to move up the chart. With Berkshire’s money behind it, there’s little doubt they will.

© 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.

HomeServices of America Acquires Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s HomeServices of America has acquired Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate as well as an ownership interest in Ambassador Title Services. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Ambassador Real Estate serves the Omaha, Lincoln, Council Bluffs, Fremont, and Dundee communities with 630 sales associates operating in five sales offices. In 2017, Ambassador closed more than $2.1 billion in sales volume.

Led by its president Vince Leisey, Ambassador Real Estate has experienced year-over-year market-share growth and is widely recognized for its progressive and collaborative culture. In 2017, the company was ranked in Entrepreneur Magazine and CultureIQ’s Top Company Cultures list as the 12th best company culture in the United States in the large-company category.

Leisey is among the real estate industry’s most recognized and charismatic leaders and is known for his inspirational leadership style and approach to driving employee and agent engagement and productivity through one-on-one coaching, teamwork, and communication. Along with his existing executive team and sales managers, he will continue to lead Ambassador Real Estate’s strategic planning and growth initiatives as well as manage the company’s day-to-day operations.

“I am thrilled to join HomeServices’ family of companies. When you combine the exceptional culture that is the core of Ambassador’s productivity and success with HomeServices’ commitment to delivering exceptional service to its buyers and sellers and its unsurpassed growth opportunities, there is no limit to what we can accomplish,” said Leisey.

“Vince brings strategic vision, an innovative spirit and proven leadership qualities and, together with his team of sales managers and agents, has built an extraordinary organization,” said Ron Peltier, HomeServices’ chairman and CEO.

“Developing strategies that drive innovation and productivity across HomeServices’ family of companies is key to our mission of delivering value to our agents and consumers,” added Peltier. “We look forward to working with Vince and his team and are very proud to welcome them to HomeServices.”

The acquisition further expands HomeServices’ presence in the Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska markets, which include Omaha-based CBSHOME and Lincoln-based Woods Bros. Realty and HOME Real Estate. They will continue to operate as independently-branded companies in their respective markets.

With this transaction, HomeServices has nearly 43,000 real estate professionals operating in nearly 900 offices across 30 states. In 2017, the company’s associates facilitated over $137 billion in residential real estate sales and nearly 360,000 transactions (including the 2017 and 2018-to-date acquisitions pro-forma), further strengthening HomeServices’ position of becoming the nation’s largest real estate brokerage company based on transactions.

© 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.