Category Archives: Acquisitions

Marmon Retail Solutions Acquires Two Companies

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Marmon Retail Solutions has acquired Big Red Rooster Flow and Project CSI, effective November 18, 2021. The acquisitions were just announced and the terms were not disclosed.

Together, BRRF and Project CSI are one of the largest providers of end-to-end program management and construction services to the retail fuel, retail drug and quick-serve restaurant channels. Their services include retail site surveys, site branding and remodeling, procurement of all necessary materials for project execution, and overall management of strategic brand programs.

Based in Northfield, Illinois, BRRF uses a proprietary software program that integrates with its customers’ systems to help retailers track programs and manage their brands. Based in Fishers, Indiana, Project CSI manages installation of interior and exterior branding and remodeling programs at retail sites throughout the U.S. using contracted crews. The company also provides ongoing audit services to ensure brand accuracy and overall program execution.

Rob Mead at BRRF and Chris Pratt at Project CSI will continue to lead their respective companies.

“We are excited to have BRRF and Project CSI join our group of companies,” said Jason MacGregor, Group President of Marmon Retail Solutions. “Both have earned outstanding reputations for providing innovative and dependable services. Together, they will significantly bolster the offerings of Marmon Retail Solutions and help us continue to grow in service to our valued customers.”

Marmon Retail Solutions provides retailers and brand marketers worldwide with comprehensive products and services for an array of retail environments. The group includes L.A. Darling, DCI Marketing, Trade Fixtures, Eden, Retail Space Solutions, Commercial Zone, Store Opening Solutions, Unarco Industries, Artform Creative, and Cannon Equipment.

Marmon Retail Solutions is part of Berkshire’s Marmon Holdings, Inc., which comprises 11 groups and more than 100 autonomous businesses with total annual revenue of $10 billion. Marmon’s 20,000-plus team members serve diverse industries and markets worldwide.

© 2022 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 Finalizes Acquisition of Just Spices

The Kraft Heinz Company has completed its acquisition of an 85% stake in Germany-based Just Spices GmbH.

The remaining 15% ownership stake has been retained by Just Spices’ three founders, who will continue on with the company and focus on driving the business and its international growth.

The proposed deal was first announced on Dec. 10, 2021.

Launched in 2014, Just Spices is an innovative start-up, trailblazing the high-growth taste elevation category with annual sales of approximately €60 million. Its 170-plus product portfolio includes spice blends, salad dressings, easy-to-prepare “In Minutes” blends, and organic offerings for diverse meal occasions ranging from breakfast and light snacks to salads and baking, with a broad range of savory, sweet, classic, and exotic flavors. Just Spices’ growing business sells approximately 70% of its ready-made and one-step spice blends directly to consumers, with its remaining sales through major grocery retailers both in-store and online in Germany, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland.

“In 2021, we announced four acquisitions to further accelerate our growth agenda and our ambition to be No. 1 in taste elevation around the world,” said Rafael Oliveira, EVP & President, International Markets at Kraft Heinz. “These include our acquisition of a majority stake in Just Spices, along with our intention to acquire a majority stake of the outstanding equity interests in Brazilian food company Hemmer, our investment in BR Spices in Brazil, and our acquisition of Assan Foods in Turkey. With Just Spices, we will leverage Kraft Heinz’s scale and agility to accelerate the business in the fast-growing taste elevation market beyond the company’s current German base and its recent market entries in Spain, Austria, and Switzerland. We also see tremendous potential to further strengthen and enhance Kraft Heinz’s own direct-to-consumer operations and go-to-market expansion.”

“We are extremely excited by the expansion opportunity that comes from combining Just Spices’ innovation and brand power with the Kraft Heinz team and the scale and knowledge of international markets they bring to the table,” said Florian Falk, Just Spices CEO and one of the company’s three founders.

© 2022 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.

HomeServices of America Acquires 5 Companies

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathway’s HomeServices of America, Inc., the nation’s largest homeownership company, has announced that it closed 2021 with simultaneous acquisitions of five companies.

The acquisitions add 1,400 sales associates, 15,000 transactions, and nearly $8 billion in closed sales volume to HomeServices’ 2021 portfolio and strengthen its commitment to fulfilling a “customer-for-life” business model. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquisitions included four brokerage companies and a moving company:

  • Bennion Deville Homes
  • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Alliance Real Estate and Alliance Title Group
  • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida
  • Hegg Realtors®
  • Joe Moholland Moving

“Since HomeServices was founded in 1998, our growth strategy has focused on acquiring market-leading companies with strong brands and experienced leaders,” said Gino Blefari, CEO of HomeServices. “Our newest family members fit these exacting standards and we proudly welcome them to HomeServices today. Each company brings a sterling reputation and is led by proven leaders. who have built extraordinary organizations with their team of managers, sales associates, and employees. We look forward to working with each company and are committed to supporting their continued growth and success,” said Blefari.

The companies joining the HomeServices family are:

Bennion Deville Homes. Founded in 2001 by Bob Bennion and Bob Deville, Bennion Deville Homes is the top-ranking real estate brokerage based on units and sales volume in California’s Coachella Valley (Greater Palm Springs Area). Led by industry veterans Bob Deville, CEO, and Chris Anderson, General Manager, Bennion Deville Homes has experienced year-over-year market-share growth and is widely recognized for its collaborative culture, client-first approach, and top-producing agents. States Deville, “By joining HomeServices of America, we are ensuring the legacy of Bennion Deville Homes continues for generations to come. We are honored to join HomeServices and excited about bringing the strengths from each of our respective companies together to serve our clients and our agents. This allows us to build upon what makes Bennion Deville Homes unique in the industry in new and exciting ways.”

In 2021 Bennion Deville Homes closed nearly 4,400 transactions and $3.1 billion in sales volume.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Alliance Real Estate and Alliance Title Group. Founded by Andrea Lawrence and led by President Kevin Goffstein and general manager Bob Bax, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Alliance Real Estate and Alliance Title Group has provided quality, service, and state-of-the-art technology to the St. Louis area and surrounding communities for more than 40 years. “HomeServices of America is known for its strength and stability, and we are honored to become a part of their family,” said Kevin Goffstein, president of Alliance Real Estate. “By aligning ourselves with ReeceNichols and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kansas City Realty we now have access to greater resources and services which will be a tremendous benefit to all of our associates as they better serve the real estate needs of their clients.”

In 2021, Alliance Real Estate’s sales associates closed nearly 4,000 transactions and $1.3 billion in sales volume. The company will join HomeServices’ Kansas City-based brokerages — ReeceNichols and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kansas City Realty — in serving clients in Missouri.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida. Headquartered in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, Beach Properties began in 2007 as a boutique real estate brokerage serving the towns and communities along northwest Florida’s scenic Gulf Coast. Under the leadership of broker and owner Hunter Harman, and owners, Price Ranier, John David Sullivan and Jimmy Burgess, who is assuming the role of CEO, Beach Properties of Florida has experienced exponential, organic growth and has tripled its number of sales associates since 2017. “We are thrilled to be joining forces with HomeServices of America and offer even greater opportunity and access for our agents and their clients to what we believe is the best real estate network in the country. This acquisition is much more than a transaction – it represents a new season of growth and prosperity for Beach Properties of Florida,” said Harman.

In 2021, the company’s agents closed more than 2,700 transactions and $2.1 billion in sales volume.

Hegg Realtors®. Founded in 1945, Hegg Realtors® is the largest real estate brokerage in South Dakota, and proudly serves the real estate needs of buyers and sellers throughout South Dakota. Under the leadership of Bill Hegg, its chairman, and Gregg Gohl, its chief executive officer, the company’s 200-plus agents closed nearly 4,000 transactions and $1.2 billion in sales volume. “We’re eager to leverage Edina Realty’s unbelievable resources to offer leading-edge technology, tools, security and support to our agents,” said Gregg Gohl, CEO. “And the opportunity to expand our network and business opportunities for our agents in a way that maintains our local brand and legacy is really exciting.” Hegg Realtors® will join the Edina Realty family of brands, significantly expanding Edina Realty’s footprint in the Midwest and making it HomeServices’ first wholly-owned brokerage located in South Dakota. It will operate as Hegg Realtors, an Edina Realty company.

Joe Moholland Moving. Founded in 1987, Joe Moholland Moving predominantly serves northern Virginia, Maryland, and the Washington D.C. area, and provides its customers with national and international relocation services. The company has strong hauling capacity, top-ranking customer satisfaction scores, and supports residential household goods moving for local, national, and international moves. Joe Moholland Moving will operate within Tailored Move, a Long & Foster company. “We are thrilled to join forces with Tailored Move and become part of the broader Long & Foster and HomeServices of America families,” said Rob Garr, president of Joe Moholland Moving. “The values and cultures of our two companies perfectly align: We both believe in delivering the highest level of customer service while removing any stress and worry from the moving process. Our partnership will allow us to expand our services across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, and we are eager to get started.”

These new acquisitions exemplify HomeServices’ mission to growing its national footprint with distinguished real estate companies and establish it as the undisputed premier provider of homeownership services in the United States. After these acquisitions, HomeServices will have more nearly 46,000 sales associates operating in 33 states and the District of Columbia. For 2021, HomeServices sales associates facilitated nearly $203 billion in residential real estate sales, nearly 395,000 home sale transactions, and more than 253,000 mortgage, title and escrow and insurance transactions.

© 2022 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 a 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.

BNSF Taking Over Montana Rail Link

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

BNSF Railway Company is taking over the route served by Montana Rail Link. MRL has had a lease on the track from BNSF since 1987.

Based in Missoula, Montana, Montana Rail Link (MRL) is a Class II regional railroad that operates over 900 route miles of track in Montana and Idaho and has nearly 1,200 employees.

MRL President Derek Ollmann announced the change in a memo to his employees where he detailed that BNSF will resume operation and maintenance of MRL, and will provide for the continued employment of all MRL employees.

“BNSF operating the line as part of their network will ensure competitive access to global markets while continuing to provide the consistent and reliable service for our customers,” Ollmann wrote in his letter to employees.

Ollmann noted that 90% of the volume on MRL was BNSF trains.

The transfer is subject to government approval.

© 2022 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 Germany-Based Spice Company

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

The Kraft Heinz Company is acquiring an 85% stake in Germany-based Just Spices GmbH. The remaining 15% ownership stake will be retained by Just Spices’ three founders, who will continue on with the company and focus on driving the business and its international growth.

Launched in 2014, Just Spices is an innovative start-up, trailblazing the high-growth taste elevation category with annual sales of approximately €60 million.

Its 170-plus product portfolio includes spice blends, salad dressings, and easy-to-prepare “In Minutes” blends for diverse meal occasions ranging from breakfast and light snacks to salads and baking, with a broad range of savory, sweet, classic and exotic flavors. Just Spices’ rapidly growing spice revolution business sells approximately 70% of its ready-made and one-step spice blends directly to consumers, with its remaining sales through major grocery retailers both in-store and online in Germany, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland.

Just Spices’ data-driven product innovation has successfully been geared towards the needs of today’s Gen Y and Gen Z consumer, with approximately 1.6 million followers across the company’s social media platforms. Its advanced analytics knowledge has enabled Just Spices to create and identify early consumer trend signals, foster product innovation, understand customer sentiment, and optimize consumer targeting.

“This is a great opportunity to further accelerate our growth agenda by strengthening our ability to anticipate trends in consumer tastes and preferences, as well as our speed to innovate,” said Rafael Oliveira, International Zone President at Kraft Heinz. “We will leverage our scale and agility to accelerate Just Spices’ business in the fast-growing taste elevation market beyond its current German base and its recent market entries in Spain, Austria, and Switzerland. We also see tremendous potential to strengthen and enhance our own direct-to-consumer operations and go-to-market expansion.”

“In the last few years, Just Spices has been further strengthening its successful omni-channel approach, with some of the best-in-class direct-to-consumer analytics in the food space. We are extremely excited by the potential for expansion that comes from combining Just Spices’ innovation and brand power with the Kraft Heinz team and the scale they bring to the table,” said Florian Falk, Just Spices CEO and one of the company’s three founders.

The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including merger control approval, and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.

© 2021 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 Completes Purchase of Assan Foods, Expanding Presence in Key Growth Markets

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

The Kraft Heinz Company has announced it has completed the purchase of Assan Foods from privately held Turkish conglomerate Kibar Holding. The proposed deal was first announced on June 11, 2021.

Assan Foods, headquartered in Istanbul, is a rapidly growing sauces-focused business with local manufacturing facilities in Balikesir and Izmir, Turkey. Assan Foods has been a certified Kraft Heinz production partner since 2019 and offers Kraft Heinz the opportunity to further build its retail and foodservice businesses across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

“Assan Foods makes high-quality sauces and tomato products that we believe fit perfectly into our International Zone’s growth strategy focused on Taste Elevation, and expands our presence in a part of the world that holds tremendous long-term opportunity for our company and our brands,” said Rafa Oliveira, International Zone President at Kraft Heinz. “We’re excited to officially welcome Assan Foods employees to the Kraft Heinz table.”

Assan Foods was established in Balikesir in 1998 as a Kibar Holding investment in the food sector and evolved into one of the top producers in the region. Assan Foods manufactures and sells a wide range of products, including tomato paste, ketchup, mayonnaise, and pasta and meat sauces that appeal to a variety of international cuisines. Its products are sold under brands such as Colorado, Kingtom, and Oba, as well as private label.

© 2021 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’s Pilot Corporation Acquisition Will Not Include Its Convenience Stores

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s acquisition of the majority ownership of the Pilot Corporation, which is scheduled to be completed by 2024, will not include 40 of Pilot’s convenience stores. The stores have been sold to Casey’s General Stores, Inc. for $220 million in an all-cash transaction.

Pilot’s convenience stores are owned and operated independently from its travel center and energy businesses and were not included in the Berkshire Hathaway transaction.

In 2017, Berkshire took a 38.6% stake in Pilot, the largest operator of truck stops and rest stops in North America. The company has 750 locations under the Pilot and Flying J brands.

Berkshire is purchasing its equity position from the Haslam family, and Jimmy Haslam, the son of the company’s founder Jim Haslam, will remain in charge when the acquisition is completed. Pilot is currently ranked No. 10 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies.

The 40 Pilot stores will extend Casey’s presence in Tennessee and Kentucky with well-established locations primarily in the attractive Knoxville, Tennessee, market.

© 2021 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 Acquires Brazilian Condiments & Sauces Manufacturer

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

The Kraft Heinz Company has entered into an agreement to acquire Companhia Hemmer Indústria e Comércio, a Brazilian company focused on condiments and sauces.

The acquisition of Hemmer – a 106-year-old company headquartered in Blumenau, Santa Catarina – is designed to expand consumers’ taste options in Brazil, while supporting Kraft Heinz’s strategy of growing its International Taste Elevation product platform and its presence in emerging markets.

“This acquisition offers us a valuable opportunity to accelerate our international growth strategy centered around Taste Elevation — our portfolio of high-quality products that enhance the taste of food,” said Rafael Oliveira, International Zone President at Kraft Heinz. “Hemmer is a legendary company in Brazil, growing net sales significantly, and will bring a delicious and diverse portfolio of products to Kraft Heinz.”

The combination aims to accelerate the growth of both companies, expanding Kraft Heinz’s presence in Brazil and leveraging its already successful expansion in condiments and sauces. Hemmer will benefit from Kraft Heinz’s distribution network and go-to-market model, including the growing foodservice channel in Brazil.

“In the last few years, Hemmer has been further strengthening itself as a food company synonymous with flavor, quality, and portfolio variety. We are extremely honored by this potential acquisition and the entire expansion potential this negotiation offers by continuing our family history in the region,” said Christian Luef, Hemmer CEO.

The completion of this transaction is subject to regulatory approvals by CADE (Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense).

The acquisition continues to expand Kraft Heinz’s focus on the international market. In June 2021, Kraft Heinz acquired Assan Foods, a rapidly growing sauces-focused business, from Turkish conglomerate Kibar Holding.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway’s TTI Acquires Paragon Innovations

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Paragon Innovations, a privately held Engineering Design Services firm based in Richardson, Texas, has been acquired by Berkshire Hathaway’s TTI’s Exponential Technology Group (XTG), a leading specialty distributor of electronic components.

Paragon Innovations will continue to operate under the Paragon Innovations brand name, and Michael Wilkinson, company founder will remain in charge of the business as Vice President and General Manager, reporting to XTG President, Michael Knight. “After more than three decades of success and growth, we join Exponential Technology Group at TTI to complement their services and serve a broader clientele,” said Mike Wilkinson. “We look forward to this new venture and becoming part of the team.”

Commenting on the announcement, Knight said, “The Paragon team significantly expands the strength and capabilities of the design services offering within the Exponential Technology Group at TTI. The firm has a remarkable reputation and customer base that has been crafted over the course of thirty years of helping OEM’s big and small bring innovative new products to market. Their involvement runs from the concepting phase through full product design, proof of concept, testing and certification, and readiness for manufacturing.” He further observed, “Paragon perfectly complements Connected Development, the Raleigh, North Carolina IoT design services firm that was acquired by TTI in January of last year. Together, the two companies deploy over 50 electronic hardware, software and mechanical engineers who are experts in a full range of wireless and RF protocols, sensor connectivity, cellular certification, component selection and design for manufacturing.”

The acquisition allows Paragon the opportunity to partner with specialty electronic components distributors and design services that will strengthen its ability to provide services under one corporation, resulting in faster and better services to clients.

© 2021 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 a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway’s HomeServices of America Adds 400 Agents With Latest Acquisition

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s HomeServices of America, Inc. has acquired of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hudson Valley Properties, the leading real estate company in the Mid-Hudson Valley market for 29 consecutive years.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 1980 by Steven Domber and headquartered in LaGrangeville, New York, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hudson Valley Properties serves the counties of Dutchess, Ulster, Orange, Columbia, Putnam and Westchester with more than 400 agents in 13 offices.

For the 12 months ending in June 2021, Hudson Valley Properties closed nearly 4,300 units representing $1.53 billion of sales volume, earning more than a 24% market share.

The company originally joined the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network as an independent franchisee in 2014, and with this transaction, joins the HomeServices of America family of wholly owned companies.

Hudson Valley Properties ranks #303 among top 350 real estate brokerages in the United States and is a member of the prestigious Berkshire Elite Circle, ranking #31 in the top 50 brokers of the network worldwide. Domber, founder and president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hudson Valley Properties, is active in the real estate industry on both the state and national levels. He will continue in his current role as president running the day-to-day operations along with his sales management and leadership team.

HomeServices of America has earned the ranking of the largest real estate company based on closed transactions since 2019.

© 2021 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 a 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.