Category Archives: Marmon Group

Berkshire Hathaway Completes Sale of Owl Wire and Cable

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is famous for buying companies, but on a occasion it sells them too.

International Wire Group has acquired Owl Wire and Cable from Berkshire’s Marmon Holdings, Inc.

Owl is a producer of high volume, heavy bare and tinned wire with operations in Canastota, Rome and Boonville, New York. Founded in 1954 as a family-owned business, Owl has been a recognized leader in copper wire for over six decades.

IWG is the market leader and the largest bare copper wire and copper wire products manufacturer in the United States with operations in Europe. With broad manufacturing and in-house engineering capabilities, IWG’s highly-skilled and experienced workforce offers fellow suppliers, distributors and OEMs the industry’s most robust and mission-critical product portfolio. It serves customers across the industrial and energy, electronics and data communications, aerospace and defense, medical products, automotive, and consumer and appliance industries.

“This new partnership is a ‘win-win’ for the loyal customers and workforces of both IWG and Owl, and for the communities we are privileged to serve,” said IWG President and CEO Greg Smith. “By integrating Owl’s manufacturing capabilities and superior customer service into our already market-leading company, we will create a unique platform to serve current and future customers. The new IWG will continue to deliver high-quality, precise wire and cable products for mission-critical applications that power our global economy. We know the Owl team well, and are thrilled to welcome them to IWG,” said Smith.

“We are thrilled to join the IWG organization. In doing so, the combination of IWG and Owl will bring an unparalleled benefit to the industry, one with the broadest and deepest capabilities to better serve our customers’ needs,” said Bob Raiti, President of Owl Wire and Cable.

© 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-Owned Company Gets Help From ITC With Order Banning Importation of Patent Infringing Water Filters

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

The U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) has issued an order banning the importation of refrigerator water filters that infringed patents owned by Berkshire Hathaway’s KX Technologies LLC and licensed to Electrolux Home Products, Inc.

KX Technologies is a global leader in the design and production of drinking water filtration products including under-sink and countertop filtration units, point-of-use and point-of-entry systems, and refrigerator water and ice filtration systems.

“This is a significant win for KX Technologies and an even bigger win for American consumers,” said KX President Jerome Barrillon.

Barrillon cited a recent study by the Association for Home Appliance Manufacturers, which concluded that “counterfeit refrigerator water filters pose a serious risk to consumer health and safety.” The study revealed these counterfeit filters have “an overwhelming failure to remove harmful contaminants” that could harm the well-being of American consumers.

“KX is committed to upholding NSF-certified standards in our technologies and products to deliver safe, high quality water,” Barrillon said. “This important ruling will help ensure consumers can purchase water filters with confidence in the product’s performance.”

To help stop the flow of counterfeit filters into the U.S., on June 8, 2018, KX joined Electrolux in filing a complaint requesting that the ITC investigate the importation of infringing water filters into the country.

Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 provides for the investigation of any unfair act in the importation of articles into the U.S., including the enforcement of intellectual property rights. If the ITC finds a violation of Section 337, it may issue (1) an exclusion order banning importation of the infringing goods and/or (2) a cease-and-desist order preventing the sale and distribution of the infringing goods, subject to severe civil penalties.

Because the infringing water filters were so numerous and the sources of the products were difficult or impossible to identify, the ITC issued a sweeping “General Exclusion Order” banning infringing water filters from any source, even if the party seeking to import the products was not specifically named in the investigation. The ITC also issued cease-and-desist orders preventing certain named parties from any commercial activity involving the infringing filters.

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 Provider of Specialty Medical Devices

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s Marmon Holdings, Inc., has acquired a majority interest in the Colson Medical Companies, a global provider of specialty medical devices, from Colson Associates, Inc.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

Marmon acquired 60 percent of the Colson Medical Companies and will acquire the remaining 40 percent over the next five years.

Colson Associates was founded by the late Robert Pritzker, a long-time Chicago business and civic leader. Mr. Pritzker co-founded Marmon in 1953 and served as CEO until 2002. Upon concluding his five-decade Marmon career, he formed Colson Associates, at which time he acquired the Colson Medical Companies and other businesses from Marmon. He led Colson Associates until his passing in 2011.

Colson Medical provides highly-engineered plates, screws, and related precision tools for orthopedic surgery through its six businesses: Acumed, OsteoMed, MicroAire, Precision Edge, Apex, and Skeletal Kinetics. All but Apex and Skeletal Kinetics were acquired under Marmon between 1979 and 1999. The companies employ more than 1,300 people at locations in the U.S., China, the U.K., Spain, and Germany.

“We are excited to welcome the Colson Medical Companies back home to Marmon,” said Marmon Chairman and CEO Angelo Pantaleo. “Their innovative, proprietary products and processes and outstanding reputation make them an ideal fit for Marmon and provide our organization with another strong growth platform.”

Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., added: “We couldn’t be more pleased about Marmon’s acquisition of Colson Medical. The specialty medical device market is an attractive growth opportunity and the Colson businesses are highly regarded. Berkshire and Marmon will provide a home where these businesses can continue to flourish.”

The acquired companies will become a new sector within Marmon, led by Colson’s current President, Chris Smith.

“Our dad would be pleased to know that Colson Medical is going back home,” Karen and Linda Pritzker said in a joint statement. “Marmon shares the values and ethics on which Colson Associates was founded and we believe Colson will have the best possible future under Marmon’s ownership.”

Chicago-based Marmon Holdings is a global industrial organization comprising 10 diverse business sectors and more than 125 autonomous manufacturing and service businesses. Revenues exceeded $8.1 billion in 2018.

© 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 Acquires Transco Railway Products

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s Marmon Holdings, Inc. has announced the acquisition of Transco Railway Products Inc., a railcar repair business with operations across the northern U.S., from Transco Inc. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Chicago-based Transco Railway Products provides railroad tank car and freight car repair and maintenance, auto-rack certification, and hopper car cleaning at seven repair shops located in the Great Lakes region, Iowa, and Montana. The company also provides components to the freight car industry from a fabrication site in Ohio. The business was founded in 1936 as a provider of replacement parts for railcars.

The acquired company will continue to operate as Transco Railway Products within Marmon’s Rail & Leasing sector, whose companies provide railroad tank car manufacturing, leasing, and repair services; intermodal tank containers; in-plant rail switching and loading/unloading services; track installation and maintenance services; and steel tank heads and cylinders for markets including energy, chemical, petrochemical, agricultural, and transportation.

Marmon’s Railcar Repair Services group offers the largest railroad tank car repair and maintenance network in North America.

“We are excited to acquire a company with such a solid reputation in the railcar repair arena,” said Bill Merrill, President of Marmon Railcar Repair Services. “Our goal is to leverage Marmon’s resources to help Transco Railway Products expand its business in both freight and tank car repair.”

Bob Nelson, current President of Transco Railway Products, will continue to lead the business. “We have significantly invested in our repair network over the past several years, allowing us to grow,” Nelson said. “With Marmon’s backing, we look forward to further growth to better serve our existing and new customers.”

Marmon Rail & Leasing is part of Marmon Holdings, a global industrial organization comprising 10 diverse business sectors and more than 100 autonomous manufacturing and service businesses with revenues of more than $8.1 billion in 2018.

© 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

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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.

Marmon Holdings Gets New CEO

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

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

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

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

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

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