Category Archives: Minority Stock Positions

BYD Launches Commercial SkyRail Monorail in Yinchuan, China

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Chinese new energy technology company BYD’s monorail transportation solution SkyRail has launched its first commercial line in Yinchuan, capital of Northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

The SkyRail line, housed under China Flower Expo Park in Yinchuan, officially goes into operation on September 1st.

BYD first unveiled its SkyRail electric monorail plans at the biannual C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City in December 2016.

SkyRail, which is China’s first straddle-type monorail system, was developed out of BYD’s five-year RMB 5 billion R&D project. It is a sustainable and strategic solution to counter traffic congestion in cities around the world while also offering more convenient mobility to urban residents.

Han Jianglong, Vice Mayor of Yinchuan, highlighted the significance of Yinchuan being the first city in the world to launch the BYD SkyRail line, “it is a strategic move for Yinchuan to introduce the green, low-carbon SkyRail to promote innovation, sustainable development and industrial transformation, as well as the improvement of the city’s image.”

As a rail transit alternative with relatively smaller passenger capacity, BYD SkyRail delivers numerous benefits, including low capital cost, short construction period, low noise level and elevated views. It can complement existing public transport systems to create a layered transport system. At the same time, SkyRail provides urban residents with safe, comfortable and fast mobility while making a real difference to alleviate traffic congestion.

“Mass transit systems are an indispensable solution to alleviate traffic congestion in cities”, said BYD Chairman and President Wang Chuanfu at the launch ceremony. “Yinchuan is an important juncture of China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative. The launch of SkyRail in Yinchuan is setting a benchmark for SkyRail projects to come in other cities, and demonstrates how BYD’s innovative products can help alleviate traffic congestion in urban areas all over the world.”

Since the launch of SkyRail in October last year, BYD has conducted feasibility studies in more than 100 cities worldwide including the city of Iloilo in the Philippines, and has entered into strategic partnerships with over 10 cities in China, including Yinchuan, Guilin, Shantou, Guang’an and Bengbu. Construction of SkyRail lines are expected to begin in 20 Chinese cities in 2018.

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 $2 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..

Berkshire to Benefit from Increased Dividend at Kraft Heinz

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

As the largest shareholder in Kraft Heinz, the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world, Berkshire Hathaway will benefit from the company’s recently announced increase in its quarterly dividend.

On August 3, Kraft Heinz announced that its Board of Directors approved an increase in the company’s quarterly dividend to $0.625 per share of common stock, or $2.50 per share of common stock on an annual basis.

This represents an increase of approximately 4.2 percent versus the prior quarterly dividend rate of $0.60 per share, or $2.40 on an annual basis.

The dividend declared is payable on September 15, 2017 to shareholders of record as of August 18, 2017.

© 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 Receives Biggest Electric Bus Order in U.S. History

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Chinese new energy technology company BYD continues to dominate the market for electric buses. Its lead over other companies is ever widening, as it has landed a massive order for electric buses for Los Angeles.

In a unanimous vote, the Board of Los Angeles Metro, one of the largest transportation systems in the United States, voted to award a contract for 60 40-foot all-electric buses to local manufacturer BYD. This is among the largest single contracts for electric buses in US history, and will directly lead to 59 new manufacturing jobs at the BYD factory in Lancaster, California.

The 40-foot BYD bus has a range of over 160 miles,

LA Metro is expected to use the buses to electrify the Silver Line bus service, which runs throughout the county, from El Monte into Downtown Los Angeles and then south to San Pedro. This route covers a number of communities that have seen significant advocacy around environmental justice, with a severe need for this kind of investment in improved air quality.

“The communities along the Silver Line deserve clean air, and we’re glad that LA Metro is committing to electric operations,” said Stella Li, President of BYD America. “In addition to a quieter, zero-emissions ride along the Silver Line, these buses mean more manufacturing jobs in LA County. We’re thrilled to get to work producing these buses for LA Metro.”

This award comes weeks after BYD signed a Community Benefits Agreement with the Jobs to Move America Coalition, which includes community, faith, labor, and environmental organizations working to advance good job and equity outcomes through transit investments, and as BYD moves forward on union negotiations with the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers Local 105. The factory in Lancaster currently employs over 700 Californians making buses and trucks.

“LA Metro is certainly right to be electrifying, and we’re particularly glad they are working with a company like BYD with a clear commitment to working with our community and labor partners to create a pipeline for underserved and underrepresented populations into good jobs,” added Erika Thi Patterson, National Policy Director at Jobs to Move America. “That means environmental justice and economic justice for people from the ports to the Antelope Valley.”

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/ADL Partnership Sell 19 Additional Electric Buses to Go-Ahead London

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Chinese new energy technology company BYD through its ADL/BYD electric bus partnership has secured a third order from Go-Ahead London – for a total of 30 of its BYD ADL Enviro200EV 10.8m models.

Eleven of the buses will operate on Transport for London’s route 153 from February 2018 A further 19 electric buses will operate route 214 from August 2019. All will be based at Go-Ahead London’s Northumberland Park in North London which will be equipped with BYD supplied charging equipment.

The new order means that Go-Ahead London will have in service a total of 95 BYD ADL pure electric buses based at three depots – Waterloo, Camberwell and Northumberland Park.

Today’s announcement follows the news last month that another TfL operator, London United – part of RATP Dev, has ordered 36 ADL BYD electric buses. The BYD ADL partnership anticipates further orders imminently as other TfL tenders are awarded.

Richard Harrington, Engineering Director at Go-Ahead Group, said: “We are without doubt the pre-eminent operator of electric buses in London and have accrued significant experience of their operation. The fact is that the BYD ADL products have proved themselves capable of replacing diesel buses without any operational impact in terms of daily scheduling. Careful planning of the depot recharge facilities and infrastructure is of course necessary but we have no need to use any opportunity charging.”

Isbrand Ho, Managing Director BYD Europe, said: “The strength of the combined BYD ADL offer is now clear for all to see. Go-Ahead London’s initial fleet of 51 has been in operation for almost 10 months now, operating reliably and effectively day in, day out. No further trials are necessary – these products deliver outstanding efficiency and environmental benefits today and we are optimistic of further significant orders.”

Robert Davey, ADL’s Group Commercial and Business Development Director, commented: “There can be no excuses now. Faced with the air quality crisis, city transport authorities and operators across the UK can confidently order the BYD ADL Enviro200EV at whatever length suits them secure in the knowledge that our product works well and can replace diesel buses without operational compromises.”

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.

Fleet of BYD’s Electric Buses Headed to Chile’s Public Transit System

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

New energy technology company BYD and Enel Chile recently signed a trade agreement in Santiago, focusing on developing a commercial strategy to strengthen electric mobility in Chile from a global perspective.

The agreement will kick off with a fleet of electric buses that are planned for the new tender of the public transportation system.

The Commercial Agreement was signed by Stella Li, BYD’s Senior Vice President and Nicola Cotugno, CEO of Enel Chile.

The agreement seeks to make available at least 90 buses to the current operators. These buses have been required by Chile Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications to be offered within the framework of the next Transantiago’s bidding process, South America’s largest public urban transportation system.

Through this strategic alliance, both companies will seek to lead the implementation of high-standard and 100% electric bus fleets.

“We can easily supply the Chilean market with our ebuses. They have been thoroughly tested in mass international operations, proving that our technology is mature. Moreover, they represent huge reductions in maintenance and energy costs.” said Stella Li.

The purpose of the alliance is not only focused on strengthening the introduction of electric vehicle operations in Transantiago, but also on implementing a model for smaller fleets in the private transport sector, especially focused on municipalities, government institutions or universities.

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 Chooses Brazil for Photovoltaic Research Center

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD Company Ltd. has signed a letter of cooperation with Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp), in which the company commits to transfer over R$ 5 million (approximately 1.5 million USD) by 2020 to set up BYD’s first overseas Photovoltaic Research Center at the university.

“With a global R&D staff of over 20,000 engineers and researchers, and featuring amongst Fortune Magazine’s “15 companies changing the world”, the importance BYD gives to technological research is very clear. Our company is a true leader in the technology sector, and such leadership greatly relies on investing in local research and development.” says Stella Li, BYD’s global vice president.

The company opened its solar panel factory in Campinas this April and thus became the first in Brazil to offer comprehensive zero emission energy ecosystem projects – with generation, storage and transportation – to the local market.

The agreement aims to establish cooperation between BYD and Unicamp in scientific research and technological development activities.

“For Unicamp, it is a great opportunity to establish the foundations of a partnership with BYD that promises to be very fruitful, by following the precept of innovation in technological development from the very start. The company chose Campinas as its base in Brazil, and we are convinced that Unicamp will be an important partner in research and development in the field of photovoltaic, which will certainly lead to the establishment of other collaborations in the future, always in search of a sustainable future.” Said Marcelo Knobel, dean of Unicamp.

BYD’s investment is a counterpart of the federal government’s PADIS (Program of Support to the Technological Development of the Semiconductor Industry and Displays), under which the company is registered.

Gradual contributions will be made annually, according to Research and Development revenues. In 2017 and 2018, the percentage will be 4% and in 2019 and 2020 it will reach 5% of net sales in the domestic market. “As a high-tech company, BYD’s goal is to bring the best of the world’s technology into the country, always generating more innovation,” adds BYD President in Brazil, Tyler Li.

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.

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.