Category Archives: Marmon Group

Marmon Holdings Gets New CEO

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Angelo V. Pantaleo will become Chairman and CEO of global industrial conglomerate Marmon Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., effective January 1, 2019.

His promotion was announced by Greg Abel, Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.

Pantaleo, currently President of Marmon Holdings, will succeed Frank S. Ptak, who as previously announced is retiring at the end of 2018 after leading Marmon for 13 years. “I am delighted to pass the Marmon baton to Angelo,” Ptak said. “He was my choice as successor and our friends at Berkshire wholeheartedly agreed. I expect him to build upon what we have accomplished together and take Marmon to the next level of success.”

Marmon Holdings comprises more than 100 autonomous manufacturing and service businesses whose diverse products range from railroad tank cars and platform trailers, to shopping carts and commercial beverage dispensers, to screws and work gloves. Marmon has operations in 23 countries, with about 20,000 employees and projected 2018 revenues of more than $8 billion.

Pantaleo joined Marmon in 1991 as president of the company’s industrial water filtration business and advanced to serve as group president over all of Marmon’s water treatment and consumer products businesses worldwide. During this period, he led numerous Marmon acquisitions in Asia, Europe, and North America. On his watch, Marmon Water earned the leading market share position at retail in North America and Europe, and became the fastest growing consumer water treatment company in China.

In 2014, Pantaleo was asked to lead the Berkshire Hathaway transition team responsible for integrating Duracell, a multi-billion-dollar global battery business, into Berkshire. Upon completion of the Duracell acquisition, Pantaleo become CEO of Duracell. He returned to Marmon as president in late 2017 with the announcement of Ptak’s planned retirement.

Before joining Marmon, Pantaleo spent 11 years in progressive roles with DuPont. He holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and an M.B.A. in Finance.

© 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.

UTLX Expanding in Kansas

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Berkshire Hathaway’s tank car manufacturer and servicer UTLX, which it owns through its Marmon Group conglomerate, is expanding its facility in El Dorado, Kansas.

The goal is to add additional repair capability.

The expansion will add 70 employees.

The Durango facility dates back to the early 1960s and is located on 40 acres adjoining BNSF Railway.

The facility’s additions will include exterior blast and paint operations, a new welding and valve repair equipment operation, and improvements to buildings, utilities and track.

The facility currently handles repairs to tank cars used by ethanol firms and hopper cars that transport grain and food products.

© 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.

TE Wire & Cable Partners With Plataine

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Berkshire Hathaway’s TE Wire & Cable, the world’s largest manufacturer of thermocouple wire, and Plataine, a leading provider of Industrial IoT and AI-based optimization software for advanced manufacturing, have announced a partnership for Smart Thermocouple solutions. Plataine’s IoT-based AI software tracks and analyzes the location, status and duty cycles of TE Wire & Cable’s thermocouples, enabling thermocouple users to view analytics, receive actionable alerts, insights and optimized recommendations.

TE Wire thermocouples are connected to Plataine’s software via a simple hardware infrastructure based on RFID tags and engraved barcodes. Plataine’s software monitors TE Wire’s thermocouples’ location, status and duty-cycles to provide automated real-time alerts & recommendations to optimize thermocouple calibration, refurbishment or replacement. The Plataine/TE Wire joint solution improves quality compliance, reduces the risk of using thermocouples that are no longer fit for purpose and eliminates manual tracking processes and production delays. A dedicated webpage allows users to plan ahead for efficient thermocouple utilization.

Plataine’s solution is scalable, helping manufacturers go further in their Digital Journey, track and optimize all assets including raw materials, tools, work-in-progress and finished parts. Plataine weaves a web of Digital Threads from raw-material to end-product, allowing thermocouples to be paired to molds and parts for full traceability in the event of quality issues or audits.

Combining Complementary Technologies

Bob Canny, President at TE Wire & Cable says: “Combining TE Wire & Cable and Plataine’s technologies enables our customers to extract additional value from their thermocouples and enter the era of Industry 4.0. For our customers, this will result in increased efficiencies and cost savings in their autoclave manufacturing operations.”

Avner Ben-Bassat, President & CEO at Plataine adds: “We are proud and excited to partner with TE Wire & Cable, jointly bringing to market the ‘Smart Thermocouple’ concept and revolutionizing a critical area of production, previously subject to manual data entry, lack of visibility and quality risks.”

TE Wire & Cable is a Marmon Wire & Cable/Berkshire Hathaway Company.

© 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 Acquires WGC Crane Group

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Berkshire Hathaway has acquired WGC Crane Group. The acquisition becomes a newly-created subsidiary, Marmon Crane Australia, which is under Berkshire’s Marmon Group.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Based in Wollongong, the hitherto family-owned WGC Crane Group provides mobile crane rentals, crane operators, and related services from three depots in News South Wales to clients throughout NSW and other parts of eastern Australia. The company’s fleet includes a variety of mobile cranes used for industrial maintenance, construction, and other projects.

Berkshire’s Marmon Group is an international association of more than 125 autonomous manufacturing and service businesses with collective revenues of approximately US $7bn.

Marmon’s crane business originated with Sterling Crane in western Canada in 1954, which is headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, and now has branch operations in twenty-four locations throughout Canada and the U.S.A. It is now one of the largest crane fleet operators in the world.

Other members of the Marmon group include Canada-based Procrane Sales, and Astha Sterling Crane in India.

In early 2012, Marmon acquired Freo Group, a leading provider of crane hire services in Australia. This latest acquisition, WGC Crane Group, will continue to operate under the WGC name, and former managers Marc Sergi and Rob McInnes will continue to lead the company with oversight by management of Freo Group.

“We are excited to welcome WGC and its employees to Marmon’s global portfolio of crane businesses,” said Marmon Crane Services president John Roberts. “WGC is a strong, successful company and we look forward to its continued growth.”

Freo Group CEO Tony Canci added: “With Freo’s strong presence in western Australia and now WGC in the east, our organization is well positioned to provide comprehensive, flexible, safe, and dependable lift services to clients in key growth areas throughout Australia.”

© 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 Acquires Sonnax Industries

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Berkshire Hathaway has made another “bolt-on” acquisition and taken over Sonnax Industries, Inc., via a sale of the company’s assets, to form a new subsidiary of Berkshire’s Marmon Holdings.

The new company will operate as Sonnax Transmission Company.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Sonnax is an industry leader in the cutting edge design, manufacture and distribution of the highest quality products to the automotive aftermarket, commercial vehicle industries, and industrial sectors utilizing drivetrain technology.

As an employee-owned company, the sale was overwhelmingly approved by vote of Sonnax employees. Steve Boyer becomes President of Sonnax Transmission, and will work closely with Sonnax Industries CEO Tommy Harmon to ensure a smooth transition into Marmon.

“Joining Marmon affords Sonnax employees the support and stability of a very successful global organization while maintaining its homegrown, entrepreneurial feel,” Harmon said. “Above all, this expands what we can deliver to our customers, so our future is bright.”

Sonnax Transmission joins Marmon’s Automotive Aftermarket group, whose businesses are well known for providing innovative, engineered solutions for aftermarket installers.

Berkshire’s Marmon Holdings comprises about 175 independent manufacturing and service businesses with facilities in 23 countries and total revenues exceeding $7.7 billion in 2017.

Bolt-On Acquisitions Continue to Power Berkshire’s Growth

© 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 Launches New Business Aimed at Purifying Water for Food Service Industry

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Marmon Water Technologies has announced the creation of Marmon Water Foodservice.

The new business will sell its Finity brand of filtration products to foodservice operators ranging from restaurateurs to hotel chefs, foodservice equipment OEMs, and beverage brand owners.

“Impurities in the water supply can lead not only to health issues, but also adverse effects on the taste of food and beverages and even the life of foodservice equipment,” comments Jeff Holcomb, who is President of Marmon Water Foodservice. “Our Finity products provide an easy and cost-effective way for foodservice operators to make their water as clean and as pure as possible.”

Finity uses proprietary water filtration technology to provide the best possible quality. “Patented FACT media technology allows for top-of-the-line filtration with minimal pressure drop,” explains Ric Knasel, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We’re talking 0.2-micron filtration for protection against bacteria and cysts.” In key applications such as post mix dispensing, Finity Advanced Chloramines reduction products are certified to perform at up to three times the capacity of competitor products at comparable flow rate and footprint.

The systems are available with a sensor and Wi-Fi monitor to alert the owner when a new filter should be installed. Maintenance is simple, too. The Finity system comes with an easy-to-access push bar used to release filter cartridges that are color coded by application to ensure proper replacement. The Finity product line has achieved NSF Standards 42 and 53 and is available for purchase through authorized resellers.

© 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.

Marmon Engineered Components Acquires PRISM Plastics, Inc.

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A subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway’s Marmon Engineered Components Company has acquired PRISM Plastics, Inc. headquartered in Chesterfield, Michigan.

PRISM Plastics is a manufacturer of high-precision injection molded plastic components with a focus on tight tolerance automotive parts used in safety critical, electronic components, fuel systems products, steering systems and drivetrain components. The company has manufacturing facilities in Chesterfield and Port Huron, Michigan, Meadville, Pennsylvania, and Harlingen, Texas.

The Harlingen, Texas facility is located near Reynosa, Mexico and supports customers with Mexico-based manufacturing.

The company manufactures more than a billion parts per year, and in 2016 PRISM doubled the size of its business through the acquisition of Tech Molded Plastics.

PRISM Plastics was acquired from investment firm Altus Capital Partners, which acquired the company in 2014.

Rod Bricker, President and CEO of PRISM Plastics, stated, “With the financial and strategic resources from Altus, we were able to accelerate growth and stay competitive in an increasingly complex and technology-driven industry. We look forward to our new partnership with Marmon and our continued success.”

© 2017 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.

Low Oil Prices Spur More UTLX Permanent Layoffs

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Continued weakness in demand for shipping domestic crude oil has prompted Berkshire Hathaway’s Union Tank Car Co., more commonly referred to as UTLX, to announce major layoffs in Houston, Texas.

UTLX will cut a third of its staff from its facility in northeast Houston.

In a letter to the Texas Workforce Commission, the company stated that it will permanently cut 106 jobs commencing Jan. 20, 2017.

The move is no surprise, as in April 2016 UTLX announced that it would be cutting its tank car production by 50-percent.

At the time, the Berkshire Hathaway-owned company announced that it also planned to lay-off employees at its plant in Alexandria, Louisiana.

© 2016 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.

Cornelius Says “Concentrate”…Beer That Is

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Cornelius, Inc., a Marmon/Berkshire Hathaway company, and the leading global producer of beverage dispensing systems, is partnering with Sustainable Beverage Technologies, a Colorado based developer of high density beer technologies, to showcase new craft beer formulas to beverage brands and foodservice retailers worldwide at BrauBeviale 2016 located in Nuremburg, Germany.

Sustainable Beverage Technologies (SBT) has partnered with four major breweries: New Belgium, Crazy Mountain, Denali and Flat12 Bierwerks to produce craft beer using high density technology. High density craft beer is a 6:1 concentrate made with traditional ingredients (water, malt, hops, and yeast) that is blended with carbonated water and baseline alcohol. The result, the company claims, is a taste profile that matches the premium beer produced by each brewery.

“These beers taste as good as any other craft beer being served from draft. I wouldn’t know they were produced any differently.” – Grandy Hull, Lead Brewer at New Belgium Brewing.

By creating high density beer using the patented SBT BrewVo® technology, craft brewers benefit from increased production and supply chain efficiencies, allowing their brands to become more accessible to consumers. Delivering high density craft beer through an innovative draft format, this technology will allow draft beer entry into previously inaccessible outlets lacking space for conventional kegs.

Kevin Selvy, Founder and CEO of Crazy Mountain Brewing Company, explained: “We’re excited to be involved with this technology. It is going to fundamentally change the landscape of how the beer industry functions.” Sassan Mossanen, President of Denali Brewing Co., said: “With this approach, we will be able to grow our brand into new markets we couldn’t previously serve [profitably].”

Cornelius touts as revolutionary its next generation tap system that is exclusive to the high density craft beer made by SBT.

The next generation system will support bars and restaurants with a cost effective increase in brand offerings. Jeff Garascia, Senior Vice-President of Growth & Innovation at Cornelius, had this to say,

“Cornelius has partnered with SBT to create a new draft beer platform that provides craft breweries with an opportunity to enter thousands of new locations. The Cornelius Four Paq and Six Paq craft beer dispensers can dispense up to six draft beers in the space used by one today. The use of high density beer dispenser will expand the market for craft beers on draft while providing economic and sustainability benefits across the supply chain. We expect to see high density beer make an impact in the market in 2017 and beyond.”

© 2016 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 TE Wire & Cable Licenses Ground-breaking Thermocouple Cable Technology

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Berkshire Hathaway’s TE Wire & Cable LLC, a leading thermocouple and specialty wire and cable manufacturer, today announced the completion of a licensing agreement with Cambridge Enterprise for a ground-breaking thermocouple cable technology developed by researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge. This dual wall, low-drift type K and type N mineral insulated (MI) thermocouple cable design was developed to improve temperature measurement accuracy, extend thermocouple life and significantly enhance drift characteristics.

The new cable design was developed for high temperature thermocouple applications and thermocouple installations that require longer use at higher temperatures. The technology will be of particular interest to those involved in aerospace/aircraft manufacturing for measuring jet engine temperatures and for processing applications like heat treatment.

Robert Canny, President of TE Wire & Cable, notes, “Even though this is a completely new technology for us, TE Wire is well positioned to promote it to our customers and corresponding applications. Our depth of application knowledge and industry ties in heat treatment and the aerospace world will allow us to refine this technology in cooperation with forward-thinking customers.”

The processes underlying this new technology are outlined in a paper titled “Development of a Low Drift Type K Thermocouple Cable for Aerospace Applications.” The paper is co-authored by Dr. Michele Scervini, a research scientist at The University of Cambridge in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, and Trevor D. Ford, chief metrologist and technical director at CCPI Europe Limited, the company that performed independent testing in its calibration laboratory on the new low-drift mineral insulated thermocouple.

TE Wire & Cable LLC is a Marmon Wire & Cable/Berkshire Hathaway Company, and is a premier thermocouple and specialty wire and cable manufacturer that was formed from the Wire and Cable Division of the Thermo Electric Corporation.

© 2016 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.