Category Archives: Acquisitions

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

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

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

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

The acquisition grows HomeServices’ presence in the Sunshine State.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2019 David Mazor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2019 David Mazor

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

Kraft Heinz Completes Acquisition of Primal Nutrition

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2019 David Mazor

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

Hedge Fund Opposes Kraft Heinz’s Campbell’s Bid

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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.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.