Tag Archives: Stock Portfolio

BYD Negotiating to Build Monorail in the Philippines

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Just weeks after new energy company BYD announced it is in talks to build one of its monrails in Egypt, the company is looking to do the same in the Philippines.

BYD and the city of Iloilo are currently exploring the possibility of constructing a 20-kilometre SkyRail monorail by 2019.

“Air pollution and traffic congestion are twin problems many cities around the world are faced with,” said Liu Xueliang, General Manager for BYD Asia Pacific Auto Sales Division. “We are very excited to bring more of our solutions to the Philippines to create a cleaner living environment for everyone.”

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.

Commentary: Akzo Nobel and Axalta Coatings Merger Would Benefit Berkshire Hathaway

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A possible merger between Akzo Nobel NV and Axalta Coating Systems would give Berkshire Hathaway a major stake in a world-leader in the coatings market.

The Dutch coatings company Akzo Nobel is reportedly in the discussion stage with Philadelphia-based Axalta on a deal that could create a $30 billion coatings behemoth. The discussions have been described as a “merger of equals’ even though Axalta is the smaller of the two companies.

One of the benefits for Akzo Nobel would be to make it too large for takeover by other coasting companies, including PPG Industries.

The potential merger has already benefited Berkshire, as shares in Axalta soared 17% to Friday’s closing price of $33.15 on news of the discussions.

Berkshire currently owns 23,324,000 shares of Axalta, which is approximately 9.59% of the company, and has a value of roughly $745,668,263. 20 million of its stake was purchased in April of 2015 from The Carlyle Group for an aggregate purchase price of $560 million, or $28.00 per share.

Axalta was founded in 1866 as Herberts, the original producer of Standox paint products. Spun off of DuPont Performance Coatings in 2013, it was sold to The Carlyle Group and renamed Axalta Coating Systems. Today the company is a leader in coatings for commercial vehicles.

When Berkshire took its stake in Axalta back in 2015, the company looked like a possible merger candidate with Berkshire’s Lubrizol. However, Berkshire’s never been shy about owning significant minority stakes in companies if they are purchased at favorable prices.

Such is the case with Axalta.

© 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 in Talks to Bring SkyRail Monorail to Egypt

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

New energy technology company BYD is negotiating to bring its SkyRail monorail to the ancient Egyptian port city of Alexandria, the country’s second largest.

The proposed project will be planned for the construction of a 128 kilometer track. The potential collaboration comes four years after Alexandria local authorities began exploring options to relieve their city of chronic traffic jams.

“Strategic Partnership,” Said General Engineer / Khaled Eleiwa, “BYD has a very strong reputation and reliable image especially in Egypt, we are so glad to have such kind of cooperation step with BYD, and we hope to see the SkyRail operates in Alexandria as soon as possible”.

“BYD’s SkyRail is a clean, affordable and safe way for people to commute. It also utilizes limited road space in towns and cities while minimizing disruption to local communities,” said AD Huang. “Today’s cooperation is a step towards developing wider partnership that we have maintained with Egypt over the past 13 years”.

BYD’s SkyRail is substantially cost saving and quicker to construct compared to a subway, requiring only a fifth of the cost and one third of the construction time. 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. SkyRail is currently operating in Yinchuan, an industrial city in China’s northwest. Construction of BYD SkyRail lines are also expected to begin in 20 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 $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 Gets Big Order for its New Midibus from Holland’s Connexxion

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Chinese battery and vehicle manufacturer BYD reports that Connexxion has ordered 21 units of its new Midibuses for use in the north part of North Holland. The new fleet will deliver a service in largely rural areas during the daytime.

Delivery of the Midibuses and the start of operation is scheduled in the summer of 2018. The new BYD model takes BYD Europe into a new market sector and augments the BYD ebus range which includes single deckers up to 18m longer, double deckers and an electric coach.

The Midibuses ordered by Connexxion have an overall length of 8.75m, two doors and have seats for 26 passengers (with a total capacity of about 50).

According to BYD, this is believed to be one of the largest orders for heavy duty pure electric midibuses in Europe and is certainly the first significant one to be placed by a Dutch operator.

Eric van Eijndhoven, Managing Director of Public Transport for Connexxion, said: “We chose BYD due to its proven and leading electric bus and battery technology. We are delighted to be the first user of this important new model and know our passengers will enjoy the new levels of green performance the buses will deliver.“

Isbrand Ho, BYD Europe’s Managing Director, said: “This is great news which confirms the attractiveness of our new model which brings big bus features to the midibus sector. This is a real bus with all the reliable, heavy duty features operators expect but smaller than our other ebuses and of course totally emissions free.”

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.

Kraft Heinz Buys Cerebos Brands from Suntory

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Kraft Heinz is expanding its brands marketed in Australia and New Zealand with its purchase of the Cerebos food and instant coffee business from Japan’s Suntory Group.

The purchase price will be A$290 million and includes popular brands such as the Gravox gravies, which is one of the all-time great Australian brands, and traces its roots back to 1917.

Cerebos’ Food & Instant Coffee business includes iconic food brands in Australia and New Zealand such as Fountain, Gravox, Saxa, Foster Clark’s, Gregg’s, Bisto, Raro and Asian Home Gourmet. The business has market-leading brands across a number of categories including sauces, gravies, herbs & spices, salt, condiments, Asian sauces, desserts and cooking ingredients.

The sale agreement does not include the Cerebos Fresh Coffee business in Australia/New Zealand, which SBF will retain.

Cerebos Australia and New Zealand is a trans-Tasman integration of two companies, Cerebos (Australia) Limited and Cerebos Gregg’s Limited in New Zealand. Our parent company, Cerebos Pacific Limited, is based in Singapore and has been wholly owned by Suntory Limited, a Japanese global food and beverage group. Within this structure, the companies have operated with a great deal of autonomy.

Kraft Heinz is the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world and has a strong platform in Australia and New Zealand, with a staple of well-known brands such as Heinz, Kraft, Wattie’s, Eta and Golden Circle in categories including beans & spaghetti, sauces, soups, sauces & dressings and many others.

Bruno Lino, CEO of Kraft Heinz Australia and New Zealand, who will lead the combined business, said: “The transaction provides an exciting opportunity for Kraft Heinz to expand its portfolio into complementary categories, stretching the footprint of Cerebos’ brands into new categories and markets.”

“In addition to the iconic local brands, Cerebos has a strong team that will play an important role in our future growth. This transaction reinforces our commitment and long-term plan to the Australia and New Zealand markets in addition to our significant investment in the Kraft brand for 2018. We will continue investing in our brands, factories and our employees to meet consumer needs and expectations,” he said.

Terry Svenson, CEO of Cerebos Australia/New Zealand, said the company was pleased with the outcome of the transaction.

“As we announced in April 2017, the Food & Instant Coffee business has a number of market-leading brands across Australia and New Zealand and has made significant progress in recent years, particularly in relation to improvements in manufacturing efficiency. However, Food & Instant Coffee is not a core focus category for SBF and we believe this business can be maximised under different ownership. The Food & Instant Coffee business will now have opportunities to leverage Kraft Heinz’s operations to grow the business further.”

The transaction is scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory approvals.

© 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 Powers Up in Australia Market

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

BYD Company Ltd., the world’s leading manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, is focusing on the Australian renewable energy market with its proprietary Lithium-Iron Phosphate battery.

At All-Energy Australia 2017 – the country’s largest renewable energy exhibition, BYD exhibited its MINI-ES, B-Box – in high-voltage and low-voltage versions – and Containerized Energy Storage solutions to provide the market with increased efficiency, economy and flexibility.

The BYD B-Box Storage System comes in two versions: low-voltage B-Box LV and high-voltage B-Box HV. The B-Box LV system operates with a Goodwe S-BP inverter, making it the cost effective; and the B-Box HV system operates with an SMA Sunny Boy Storage inverter, which raises the system’s level of efficiency. Both are aimed at the retrofit market that is booming in Australia, that is, a market in which people already have solar panels installed and want to install an energy storage system.

Another advantage of the BYD B-Box systems is that they are modular and scalable from 2.5kWh to 442kWh – users can increase the capacity of parallel battery rack to meet different requirements of energy storage – whereas major competitors only reach 13.5kWh with a large-sized system.

A variety of configurations of the two versions of the BYD B-Box can also be used for commercial purposes.

The MINI-ES is a small-sized, all-in-one residential energy storage system that is easy to install and maintain, with an original capacity of 3kW / 3kWh that can be expanded to 6kWh. This system is fully certified by Australia’s SAA, in line with the latest Australian AS / NZS 4777.2: 2015 standard, and has become very popular with a number of Australian local power grid companies and electricity retailers.

Over 500 Australian households have already installed the BYD MINI-ES.

The BYD Containerized Energy Storage has a modular design to meet different large-scale energy storage projects demands, and features extreme safety, reliability and efficiency. It can be used for peak load and frequency regulation to stabilize renewable energy or as a back-up system to prevent outages.

Current installed capacity of BYD ESS exceeds 400MWh globally.

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 Pure Electric Buses Running in Liverpool

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The city of Liverpool is now the first British provincial city to run pure electric buses from the BYD ADL partnership.

The BYD ADL buses will be operated by Arriva Merseyside and begin service later this month on the City Centre Circular Routes 26 and 27, known as The Belt.

In July 27, 2015, BYD announced a joint project with British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited to build single-deck zero-emission buses.

The delivery of the buses follows a joint bid under the Government’s OLEV scheme by Arriva North West and Merseytravel. The new buses will operate an intensive service from the Liverpool One bus station and be based at Arriva’s Green Lane bus depot in Liverpool. BYD chargers have been installed in the depot.

The order is significant in that it is the first to be won by the ADL BYD partnership (with ADL as prime contractor on this occasion) outside London where the partnership has enjoyed considerable success, winning every Transport for London (TfL) tender so far for full size pure electric buses – a total of 157 are now in service or on order to serve TfL routes.

The buses for Merseyside will cover 100 to 130 miles per day (most will operate 12 hours a day but one duty cycle calls for a 19-hour operating schedule) and will be charged overnight. In line with all ADL BYD joint products, the new buses are designed to operate a full day’s duty cycle on one charge, without the need for disruptive ‘top up’ charging during the working day and enjoy the benefit of lower cost off peak electricity. The BYD ADL solution ensures that operators do not have to purchase additional buses beyond the number of their current diesel fleet in order to maintain service on the route due to the outstanding battery capacity and range.

The ADL BYD Enviro200EVs being supplied to Arriva feature a provincial specification with the fitting of 38 seats. There is space for another 32 standing passengers and there are USB charging points throughout the buses.

Howard Farrall, Arriva Merseyside managing director said: “Arriva is committed to ensuring its fleet meets the latest clean vehicle standards. We are extremely proud to be joining forces with ADL and BYD UK at the forefront of the electric bus revolution. This new partnership will further contribute to Arriva’s ‘Destination Green’ environmental goal, which includes ambitious plans to reduce carbon emissions, conserve energy and invest in renewable sources”.

“This is a landmark moment not just for the successful BYD ADL partnership but for the roll-out of zero-emission electric buses in British cities. We are delighted as prime contractor to help Arriva Merseyside and Merseytravel make buses an even cleaner and greener option for Liverpool. Arriva’s Enviro200EV demonstrate that the technology is ready to roll out fully electric buses in provincial towns and cities without compromising on operational efficiency,” said Arthur Whiteside, Managing Director – UK Sales at ADL.

“Liverpool is pioneering a route for other British cities and one which they can follow with full confidence that the BYD ADL partnership can deliver a range of proven, efficient and attractive products which can play a key role in improving city street air quality. We will be working hard to build on our leading role in London in other cities”, said Isbrand Ho, Managing Director, BYD Europe.

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 Expands North American Facility

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

BYD, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, is celebrating the addition of a new wing to the current BYD Coach and Bus facility in California.

The expansion of its Lancaster, California facility brings it total manufacturing space to nearly 450,000 sq. ft. This expansion nearly quadruples BYD’s facility from its initial 2013 footprint.

The growth of BYD Coach and Bus reflects a rapid transition to electric transportation and will allow BYD to build up to 1,500 battery-electric buses annually. Since BYD established its U.S. electric bus manufacturing capabilities in Los Angeles County, the company has created nearly 800 full-time jobs throughout the state. This manufacturing facility expansion will enable BYD to hire up to 1,200 full-time workers at top production-line capacity.

This manufacturing facility is powered 100% by renewable energy, which is provided by the City of Lancaster’s Energy Company, Lancaster Choice Energy.

BYD is the undisputed leader as North America’s largest electric bus manufacturer, having delivered 137 electric buses in the U.S. and Canada, including more than 75 buses delivered in 2017. BYD is currently producing an additional 300 buses based on current customer orders and has options for more than 300 additional electric bus purchases.

BYD’s buses operate in transit agencies, universities and airports across North America, with more than 40 customers including LA Metro, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Stanford University, UCLA, UC San Francisco, UC Irvine, Anaheim Resort Transportation, Long Beach Transit, Denver Regional Transportation District, City of Albuquerque, SolTrans, SunLine Transit, Link Transit, COMO Connect, Antelope Valley Transit Authority, and many others.

The BYD Coach and Bus facility also supports R&D and assembly for BYD’s battery-electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks, including delivery, drayage, refuse, and yard trucks, among other product lines. These trucks incorporate the same proven core components that are used in BYD’s commercialized buses and vehicles with several hundred million service-proven miles. By the end of 2017, BYD will have delivered 70 all-electric trucks to 15 customers in North America, with orders for more than 140 trucks to-date.

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 Takes Stake in Italian Insurer

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Berkshire Hathaway Inc. will buy an approximately 9 percent stake in Italian insurer Societa Cattolica di Assicurazioni Scrl from Banca Popolare di Vicenza SpA.

The transaction will be at 7.35 euros per share for a total of cost 115.9 million euros.

On August 3, Standard & Poor’s confirmed Cattolica’s rating as BBB – and the outlook as stable.

Cattolica’s stand-alone credit profile (SACP) was confirmed at bbb+.

© 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 E-Buses of Turin Fleet

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

BYD has delivered the first three pure electric e-buses for the public transportation in Turin, Italy.

The three BYD e-buses are the first of a fleet of 23 which are being delivered after BYD won Italy’s first big tender for 12 metre pure electric buses which was awarded in September last year.

Twenty of the buses will serve routes in Turin with a further three going to nearby Novaro.

The long range, full size e-buses will operate on Piedmont Region’s urban transport networks connecting the city centers with suburban areas. BYD will also supply full service support for 10 years.

“We are proud to manage, in Turin, the first 12 metre electric bus fleet in an Italian city”, said President and CEO of GTT, Walter Ceresa. “This is an important environmental contribution, that confirms GTT as a cutting-edge company in innovative solutions for Public Transportation”.

“Italy, together with the UK, France and countries in Benelux and Scandinavia, is now truly a top market for BYD in Europe thanks to the vision of GTT to make Turin green”, said Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe in Turin today. “We are delighted to win this order in the face of strong international competition”.

The tender announced by GTT (Gruppo Torinese Trasporti) in the Autumn of 2015 was the first and most important modular tender for the purchase of large electric buses in Italy.

GTT, owned by the City of Turin, serves a metropolitan area with 2 million citizens and operates a fleet of more than 1,100 buses. The BYD e-buses are the first new buses to be ordered for almost 5 years.

Across Europe bus operators are showing an increasing interest in pure electric technology: a technology that is the natural, inevitable evolution of urban public transportation in the medium term.

BYD is the world-wide market leader with over 20,000 buses delivered, as of the end of 2016.

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.