Category Archives: Minority Stock Positions

Berkshire Hathaway Invests $377 Million in STORE Capital

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway has purchased 9.8% of STORE Capital Corporation, an internally managed net-lease real estate investment trust (REIT) that invests in Single Tenant Operational Real Estate.

Berkshire through a subsidiary invested $377 million for 18.6 million shares of company stock in a private placement at a price of $20.25 per share.

“Berkshire Hathaway’s investment solidly positions STORE for continued growth, while adding measurably to our already strong financial position,” said Christopher H. Volk, President and Chief Executive Officer of STORE Capital. “An investment in our company from one of history’s most admired investors represents a vote of confidence in our experienced leadership team and an affirmation of our profit-center real estate investment and management approach.”

In a statement to CNBC, Volk noted that Berkshire had first inquired about the company in 2014 and had been following them closely.

© 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.

Berkshire Hathaway to Invest Millions in Home Capital Group

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway will invest C$153,225,739 in Canadian lender Home Capital Group.

Home Capital Group Inc. is a public company, traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (HCG), operating through its principal subsidiary, Home Trust Company. Home Trust is a federally regulated trust company offering residential and non-residential mortgage lending.

Berkshire will make the investment through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Columbia Insurance Company, which will make an initial investment of C$153,225,739 to acquire 16,044,580 common shares on a private placement basis, representing an approximate 19.99% equity stake in Home Capital on a post-issuance basis (25% on a pre-issuance basis).

Berkshire will not be granted any rights to nominate directors of Home Capital or any governance rights as an equity holder.

© 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.

BYD ADL Partnership to Supply 36 More Electric Busses for London Routes

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

The partnership between Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD and the UK’s leading bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) has been selected as preferred bidder by RATP Dev London for the latter’s order of a total of 36 10.8m pure electric buses.

Following a comprehensive technical evaluation of zero emissions buses from a range of electric bus suppliers, RATP Dev London has entered into a letter of intent for the procurement of BYD ADL’s Enviro200 electric vehicle.

The commercial terms for the supply of the vehicles are currently being negotiated for vehicle delivery in spring 2018.

BYD ADL previously supplied The 51 Enviro200EV single-decker buses that were built in Britain and are operated by Go-Ahead London from its Waterloo garage, servicing two Transport for London (TfL) routes – 507 and 521.

The new buses would be based at London United’s Shepherd’s Bush garage and be deployed on two high frequency TfL bus routes: C1 from Victoria to White City and 70 from South Kensington to Chiswick. These two routes, one of which is already operated by RATP Dev London, are being converted by RATP Dev London to full electric operation following the company’s recent success in winning these routes through Transport for London’s tendering process.

The BYD ADL Enviro200 10.8m is a new model designed for more restrictive route conditions than the 51 12m models already in service on the London bus network. Many London streets feature sharp corners and the smaller vehicle – still capable of accommodating 76 passengers – is more appropriate for some routes. Like all ADL BYD models, the new buses will be guaranteed to complete a full day’s duty cycle without the need for recharging.

Once concluded, the new order will bring the number of ADL BYD electric buses in London to over 100, by some way the largest volume of full size electric buses in service in any major European city. The successful and long term BYD ADL partnership agreement has recently been renewed and extended to cover a broader range of exciting products meeting many UK bus model requirements.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million is now worth roughly $1.8 billion.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 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.

BYD Supplies More Pure Electric Buses to Brisbane Airport

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Making further inroads in its sale of pure electric buses in Australia, Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD has announced an expansion of its pure electric buses to Brisbane airport. The sale comes just eight months after making its commercial debut at the country’s busiest airport in Sydney.

The fleet of eleven 12-meter BYD electric buses will be fully operational in February 2018 as a shuttle service between the airport’s domestic and international terminals. The vehicles will be run by Carbridge, an Australian based world leader in aviation passenger ground transportation who operates BYD electric buses, the Electric Blu, in the Sydney Airport.

“This signifies a milestone for us in Australia, and we are heartened to have more people in Australia support the state-of-the-art electric public transport that we provide,” said Liu Xueliang, General Manager of BYD Asia Pacific Auto Sales Division.

The 12-meter BYD electric bus has a carrying capacity of 70 passengers; features purpose-designed luggage storage racks, and three full size double doors making boarding and alighting more efficient. In addition the buses have GPS next stop announcements, driver monitoring and real time tracking data, meaning issues can be immediately identified and responded to in real time.

Replacing the current fleet for electric buses will result in a reduction of 250 tons of carbon emissions each year, equivalent to taking 100 cars off the road.

Brisbane airport is the closest airport to Queensland’s Gold Coast, a popular holiday destination for visitors to Australia. Around 22.5 million passengers travelled through the airport in 2016, making the airport the third busiest in Australia by passenger traffic.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million is now worth roughly $1.8 billion.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 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.

BYD Touts Results of its Fully Sustainable Power Solutions

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

BYD is touting the results of its initial pilot project in its Fully Sustainable Power Solutions initiative, which combines BYD’s battery storage technology with photovoltaic panels.

Results from the first year of BYD’s 60MWh UK project show that BYD’s energy storage system has operated smoothly over the 12 month period. The system responds quickly to the grid’s demand, matching over 99% of aggregate demand with five to six cycles every day. This frequency regulation project is the biggest of its kind in the UK to date.

BYD’s “Fully Sustainable Power Solutions” has the energy generated through PV going directly into energy storage equipment in order to curb instabilities in energy flow and improve distribution.

The idea of combining PV generation with energy storage is not new, but what grants BYD an edge is that not only is the company the world’s largest Iron-Phosphate battery manufacturer, it is also one of the few companies to make both photovoltaic and energy storage products.

TESLA recently acquired Solar City in order to combine its battery storage capability with Solar City’s new photovoltaic roof shingles.

Tom Zhao, Managing Director of BYD Solar Division said the success of the project is proof that the revolutionary business model works. “We want to pave the way for more projects to follow suit so that the new energy market becomes bigger and better,” he said. “There is a potential demand of 100MWh in a similar project in the UK alone, and over 200MWh worldwide.”

BYD also announced its ambition to integrate its energy storage systems with wind power this year, before eventually merging the system with all types of renewable energy generation. BYD notes that this will give consumers and businesses a more stable supply of clean energy and increase the functionality of renewable power generation stations.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million is now worth roughly $1.8 billion.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 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.

BYD Delivers First 60-Foot Pure Electric Bus in North America

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, has delivered North America’s first 60-foot articulated battery-electric transit bus to the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) in Los Angeles County, California.

The bus, part of AVTA’s plan to fully electrify its fleet by 2018, was also built with local labor in BYD’s factory in Lancaster, just miles from the AVTA office. It is the first delivery from AVTA’s order of thirteen 60’ BYD buses.

“The Antelope Valley Transit Authority is leading the North American transit market with its electrification commitment, and so it’s only fitting that they should have the first bus of its kind in North America,” said Macy Neshati, Senior Vice President of BYD Heavy Industries. “This bus runs longer and holds more passengers than any other commercially available battery-electric bus, and I know it will serve the people of the Antelope Valley well.”

Len Engel, Executive Director of the Antelope Valley Transit Authority, added, “We’ve been proud to be at the forefront of the smart business of electrification, protecting our air, saving money, and creating local jobs here in the Antelope Valley. Having the first 60-foot articulated electric transit bus on the continent is a feather in the cap of the people of Lancaster, Palmdale, and the other communities we serve.”

The 60-foot BYD bus seats up to 60 people and provides a range of 200 miles on a single charge with full charging completed in two to three hours. It will join the rest of the AVTA fleet in serving the half million residents of northern Los Angeles County.

Nearly 600 Californians are employed at the BYD factory in Lancaster. Workers there recently completed a card-check vote, an important step towards unionization.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million is now worth roughly $1.8 billion.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 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.

BYD Adds 20 More Cars to Ecuador’s Pure Electric Taxi Fleet

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

After the delivery of the largest e-taxi fleet in Ecuador last month, Chinese new energy technology company BYD has delivered twenty more of its pure electric e6 taxi to Uruguay’s capital city, Montevideo.

The BYD pure electric taxi fleet was launched in 2015, as the country’s pioneering initiative towards electrified public transportation.

Key to the program is that the e6’s operational cost is 6-8 times lower than that of a traditional gasoline taxi.

The Uruguayan government is supporting the move to electrified transportation. The government offers unprecedented subsidies and advantages to potential buyers: 60,000 USD subsidy for a pure electric taxi license, which is 50% less as compared to a conventional taxi; owners will also be exempted of the 23% import tax on the vehicles; as well as a 5,000 USD subsidy for installing the charger, totaling up to 100,000 USD in incentives.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million is now worth roughly $1.8 billion.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 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.

BYD’s Pure Electric Buses Now on the Job in Canada

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD has debuted its first three pure electric buses in St. Albert, Canada.

The buses are the first electric buses BYD has sold in Canada, and the three BYD K9 buses are the first of seven electric buses for the city.

The order represents a conversion of a full 10% of the city’s bus fleet to electric, which will be fulfilled by the end of the year and shows its commitment to migrating its fleet to next-generation fuels.

Of particular note is the performance of the buses in cold weather. The buses are hardy enough to perform in extreme cold weather that can drop down to -35°C in the winter.

The city of Edmonton has also tested BYD’s buses and found that two of BYD’s K9 electric buses tested against two brand new diesel buses were more reliable in the extreme cold temperatures than the diesel buses.

The buses cost $970,000 Canadian dollars each, and are part of the province’s Green Transit Incentives Program, which supports new and existing public transport infrastructure technology. The project’s ultimate aim is to reduce the number of vehicles on the province’s roads and lower greenhouse gases.

BYD Canada Vice President Ted Dowling said the introduction of the 10.6 meter long battery powered buses were exciting. “Many more Canadian cities and provinces will be under pressure to buy electric buses soon because they cannot be led by the oil province.” Alberta has the world’s third largest oil reserves.

Provincial and federal politicians in Canada have actively promoted green transport solutions in the country as part of the country’s commitment to mitigating climate change.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million is now worth roughly $1.8 billion.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 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.

BYD Unveils Pure Electric Refuse Truck for North American Market

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Noisy, smelly diesel-powered refuse trucks are about to be replaced by a zero- emission pure electric refuse truck by Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD that is now available for purchase and deployment in North America.

BYD, which has become the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, debuted its class 8 battery-electric refuse truck at the 2017 ACT Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center.

BYD’s truck is the first heavy-duty refuse truck designed and built by an original equipment manufacturer and is 100 percent battery electric. Manufactured in Lancaster, California, the BYD refuse truck is compliant with FMVSS and CMVSS regulations

“BYD continues to lead the heavy-duty electric vehicle market with our advanced battery technology, and this new refuse truck is just the latest example of our vehicle solutions that can save fleet customers tens of thousands of dollars annually,” said Stella Li, President of BYD Motors. “BYD’s medium- and heavy-duty battery electric vehicles have a lower total cost of ownership and can be a one-for-one replacement with fossil fueled vehicles in fleet operations.”

BYD’s 10-ton payload refuse truck provides 76 miles of range with minimal battery degradation. The truck is a cab and chassis platform, which includes the batteries, high voltage control system, all-electric propulsion system, and electric power take off for powering the hydraulic system to operate the refuse truck bodies. This platform is designed to integrate with all of the major refuse truck body builders in North America, and can be configured as a side loader, automated side loader, front loader, rear loader, or roll off.

As the refuse truck was built by BYD in its entirety, as opposed to as a retrofit of a CNG or diesel truck, the entire system was designed with electric propulsion in mind. For operators, that translates to optimized efficiency, maintenance, and usability throughout its life.

BYD says that fleet managers can expect more than $13,000 of operational cost savings annually based on service routes of 60 miles per day/five days a week.

The savings are due to high-efficiency electric motors and motor controls, as well as lower maintenance on propulsion systems, fewer fluids to change, less brake wear due to cutting-edge regenerative braking technology, and fewer moving parts.

The BYD battery-electric refuse truck can charge at 40 kW, 80 kW, 100 kW, or 200 kW rates, requiring between one and five hours to charge depending on the power interface used. BYD’s refuse truck battery technology allows for a projected 80 percent capacity after 5,000 cycles or 14 years, if charged every day.

BYD designs their vehicles to fit in seamlessly to any fleet with an advanced vehicle-to-grid system allowing the vehicle to deliver power back to the grid, to a load, or to another vehicle without any disruptions.

BYD employs more than 600 skilled workers at its manufacturing facility in Lancaster.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million is now worth roughly $1.77 billion.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 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.

BYD’s 60-Foot Articulated Battery-Electric Bus Rolls in North America

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD has delivered the longest pure electric bus in North America. The 60-foot articulated battery-electric transit bus will go in service for the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) in Los Angeles County, California.

The bus, part of AVTA’s award-winning campaign to fully electrify its fleet by 2018, was also built with local labor in BYD’s factory in Lancaster, just miles from the AVTA office. It is the first delivery from AVTA’s order of thirteen 60-foot BYD buses.

“The Antelope Valley Transit Authority is leading the North American transit market with its electrification commitment, and so it’s only fitting that they should have the first bus of its kind in North America,” said Macy Neshati, Senior Vice President of BYD Heavy Industries. “This bus runs longer and holds more passengers than any other commercially available battery-electric bus, and I know it will serve the people of the Antelope Valley well.”

Len Engel, Executive Director of the Antelope Valley Transit Authority, added, “We’ve been proud to be at the forefront of the smart business of electrification, protecting our air, saving money, and creating local jobs here in the Antelope Valley. Having the first 60-foot articulated electric transit bus on the continent is a feather in the cap of the people of Lancaster, Palmdale, and the other communities we serve.”

The 60-foot BYD bus seats up to 60 people and provides a range of 200 miles on a single charge with full charging completed in two to three hours. It will join the rest of the AVTA fleet in serving the half million residents of northern Los Angeles County.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million is now worth roughly $1.8 billion.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 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.