Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate
holding company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. The
company wholly owns GEICO, Dairy Queen, BNSF Railway, Lubrizol, Fruit
of the Loom, Helzberg Diamonds, Long & Foster, FlightSafety
International, Pampered Chef, and NetJets, and also owns 38.6% of
Pilot Flying J; 26.7% of the
Kraft Heinz Company, and significant
minority holdings in
American Express (17.6%), The Coca-Cola Company
Wells Fargo (9.9%), and Apple (3.3%). Since 2016, the
company has acquired large holdings in the major US airline carriers,
and is currently the largest shareholder in
United Airlines and Delta
Air Lines, and a top three shareholder in
Southwest Airlines and
Berkshire Hathaway has averaged an annual growth in
book value of 19.0% to its shareholders since 1965 (compared to 9.7%
from the S&P 500 with dividends included for the same period),
while employing large amounts of capital, and minimal debt.
The company is known for its control and leadership by Warren Buffett,
who serves as chairman and chief executive and Charlie Munger, the
company's vice chairman. In the early part of Buffett's career at
Berkshire, he focused on long-term investments in publicly traded
companies, but more recently he has more frequently bought whole
companies. Berkshire now owns a diverse range of businesses including
confectionery, retail, railroads, home furnishings, encyclopedias,
manufacturers of vacuum cleaners, jewelry sales, newspaper publishing,
manufacture and distribution of uniforms, and several regional
electric and gas utilities.
According to the
Forbes Global 2000 list and formula, Berkshire
Hathaway is the third largest public company in the world, and the
ninth largest conglomerate by revenue.
Berkshire is currently the seventh largest company in the S&P 500
Index by market capitalization, and is famous for having the most
expensive share price in history with a
Class A share costing around
$300,000 each. This is due to the fact that there has never been a
stock split and Buffett has stated in a 1984 letter to shareholders
that he does not intend to do so.
2 Corporate affairs
2.2 Succession plans
3 Businesses and investments
3.2 Utilities and energy group
3.3 Manufacturing, service and retailing
3.3.2 Building products
3.3.3 Flight services
3.3.6 Real Estate
3.3.7 Other non-insurance
3.4 Finance and financial products
Investment in Apple Inc.
3.5.2 Investments in US airlines
3.5.3 Prior Investments
3.5.4 Subsidiaries and equity holdings
5 See also
7 External links
Berkshire Cotton Mills, Adams, Mass.
Hathaway Mills, New Bedford, Mass.
Berkshire Hathaway traces its roots to a textile manufacturing company
Oliver Chace in 1839 as the
Valley Falls Company
Valley Falls Company in
Valley Falls, Rhode Island. Chace had previously worked for Samuel
Slater, the founder of the first successful textile mill in America.
Chace founded his first textile mill in 1806. In 1929, the Valley
Falls Company merged with the Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company
established in 1889, in Adams, Massachusetts. The combined company was
known as Berkshire Fine Spinning Associates.
Berkshire Fine Spinning Associates
Berkshire Fine Spinning Associates merged with the Hathaway
Manufacturing Company which had been founded in 1888 in New Bedford,
Horatio Hathaway with profits from whaling and the
China Trade. Hathaway had been successful in its first decades,
but it suffered during a general decline in the textile industry after
World War I. At this time, Hathaway was run by Seabury Stanton, whose
investment efforts were rewarded with renewed profitability after the
Great Depression. After the merger,
Berkshire Hathaway had 15 plants
employing over 12,000 workers with over $120 million in revenue,
and was headquartered in New Bedford. However, seven of those
locations were closed by the end of the decade, accompanied by large
Warren Buffett began buying stock in
Berkshire Hathaway after
noticing a pattern in the price direction of its stock whenever the
company closed a mill. Eventually, Buffett acknowledged that the
textile business was waning and the company's financial situation was
not going to improve. In 1964, Stanton made an oral tender offer of
$111⁄2 per share for the company to buy back Buffett's shares.
Buffett agreed to the deal. A few weeks later,
Warren Buffett received
the tender offer in writing, but the tender offer was for only
$113⁄8. Buffett later admitted that this lower, undercutting
offer made him angry. Instead of selling at the slightly lower
price, Buffett decided to buy more of the stock to take control of the
company and fire Stanton (which he did). However, this put Buffett in
a situation where he was now majority owner of a textile business that
Buffett initially maintained Berkshire's core business of textiles,
but by 1967, he was expanding into the insurance industry and other
investments. Berkshire first ventured into the insurance business with
the purchase of National Indemnity Company. In the late 1970s,
Berkshire acquired an equity stake in the Government Employees
Insurance Company (GEICO), which forms the core of its insurance
operations today (and is a major source of capital for Berkshire
Hathaway's other investments). In 1985, the last textile operations
(Hathaway's historic core) were shut down.
In 2010, Buffett claimed that purchasing
Berkshire Hathaway was the
biggest investment mistake he had ever made, and claimed that it had
denied him compounded investment returns of about $200 billion
over the subsequent 45 years. Buffett claimed that had he invested
that money directly in insurance businesses instead of buying out
Berkshire Hathaway (due to what he perceived as a slight by an
individual), those investments would have paid off several
Kiewit Tower, the location of Berkshire's corporate offices in Omaha,
Berkshire's class A shares sold for $304,280.00 as of January 8,
2018[update], making them the highest-priced shares on the New York
Stock Exchange, in part because they have never had a stock split and
have only paid a dividend once since
Warren Buffett took over,
retaining corporate earnings on its balance sheet in a manner that is
impermissible for mutual funds. Shares closed over $100,000 for the
first time on October 23, 2006. Despite its size, Berkshire had for
many years not been included in broad stock market indices such as the
S&P 500 due to the lack of liquidity in its shares; however,
following a 50-to-1 split of Berkshire's class B shares in January
2010, and Berkshire's announcement that it would acquire the
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, parent of BNSF Railway,
Berkshire replaced BNSF in the S&P 500 on February 16,
CEO Warren Buffett's annual letters are widely read and
quoted. Barron's named Berkshire the most respected company in the
world in 2007 based on a survey of American money managers.
In 2008, Berkshire invested in preferred stock of
Goldman Sachs as
part of a recapitalization of the investment bank. Buffett
defended Lloyd Blankfein's decisions as
CEO of Goldman
As of July 13, 2016[update], Buffett owned 31.7% aggregate voting
power of Berkshire's shares outstanding and 18.0% of the economic
value of those shares. Berkshire's vice-chairman, Charlie Munger,
also holds a stake big enough to make him a billionaire, and early
investments in Berkshire by
David Gottesman and Franklin Otis Booth,
Jr. resulted in their becoming billionaires as well. Bill Gates'
Investment LLC is the second largest shareholder of Berkshire
and owns more than 5% of class B shares.
Berkshire Hathaway has never split its Class A shares because of
management's desire to attract long-term investors as opposed to
short-term speculators. However,
Berkshire Hathaway created a Class B
stock, with a per-share value originally kept (by specific management
rules) close to 1⁄30 of that of the original shares (now Class A)
and 1⁄200 of the per-share voting rights, and after the January
2010 split, at 1⁄1,500 the price and 1⁄10,000 the voting
rights of the Class-A shares. Holders of class A stock are allowed to
convert their stock to Class B, though not vice versa. Buffett was
reluctant to create the class B shares, but did so to thwart the
creation of unit trusts that would have marketed themselves as
Berkshire look-alikes. As Buffett said in his 1995 shareholder letter:
"The unit trusts that have recently surfaced fly in the face of these
goals. They would be sold by brokers working for big commissions,
would impose other burdensome costs on their shareholders, and would
be marketed en masse to unsophisticated buyers, apt to be seduced by
our past record and beguiled by the publicity Berkshire and I have
received in recent years. The sure outcome: a multitude of investors
destined to be disappointed."
Berkshire's annual shareholders' meetings, taking place in the
CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska, are routinely visited by 20,000
people. The 2007 meeting had an attendance of approximately
27,000. The meetings, nicknamed "
Woodstock for Capitalists", are
considered Omaha's largest annual event along with the baseball
College World Series. Known for their humor and light-heartedness,
the meetings typically start with a movie made for Berkshire
shareholders. The 2004 movie featured
Arnold Schwarzenegger in the
role of "The Warrenator" who travels through time to stop Buffett and
Munger's attempt to save the world from a "mega" corporation formed by
Microsoft-Starbucks-Wal-Mart. Schwarzenegger is later shown arguing in
a gym with Buffett regarding Proposition 13. The 2006 movie
Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis and
Nicollette Sheridan lusting
after Munger. The meeting, scheduled to last six hours, is an
opportunity for investors to ask Buffett questions.
The salary for the
CEO is $100,000 per year with no stock options,
which is among the lowest salaries for CEOs of large companies in
the United States.
The current members of the board of directors of Berkshire Hathaway
Warren Buffett (Chairman),
Charlie Munger (Vice Chairman), Walter
Scott, Jr., Thomas S. Murphy,
Howard Graham Buffett
Howard Graham Buffett (Warren's son),
Ronald Olson, Charlotte Guyman, David Gottesman, Bill Gates, Steve
Burke, Susan Decker, Meryl Witmer, Ajit Jain, and Greg Abel.
In May 2010, Buffett, months away from his 80th birthday, said he
would be succeeded at
Berkshire Hathaway by a team consisting of a CEO
and three or four investment managers; each of the latter would be
responsible for a "significant portion of Berkshire's investment
portfolio". Five months later, Berkshire announced that Todd
Combs, manager of the hedge fund Castle Point Capital, would join them
as an investment manager. On September 12, 2011, Berkshire
Hathaway announced that 50-year-old Ted Weschler, founder of Peninsula
Capital Advisors, will join Berkshire in early 2012 as a second
In Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder letter dated February 25,
2012, Buffett said that his successor as
CEO had been chosen
internally but not named publicly. While the intent of this message
was to bolster confidence in the leadership of a "Buffett-less
Berkshire", critics have noted that this strategy of choosing a
successor without a concrete exit strategy for the sitting
leaves an organization with fewer long term options, while doing
little to calm shareholder fear.
In June 2014, the firm's cash and cash equivalents rose past $50
billion, the first time it finished a quarter above that level since
Buffett became chairman and chief executive officer.
On January 10, 2018,
Berkshire Hathaway appointed
Ajit Jain and Greg
Abel to Vice
Chairman roles. Abel is going to be vice chairman for
non-insurance business operations, and Jain is going to become vice
chairman of insurance-operations.
Businesses and investments
Insurance and reinsurance business activities are conducted through
approximately 70 domestic and foreign-based insurance companies.
Berkshire's insurance businesses provide insurance and reinsurance of
property and casualty risks primarily in the United States. In
addition, as a result of the
General Re acquisition in December 1998,
Berkshire's insurance businesses also includes life, accident, and
health reinsurers, as well as internationally based property and
casualty reinsurers. Berkshire's insurance companies maintain capital
strength at exceptionally high levels. This strength differentiates
Berkshire's insurance companies from their competitors. Collectively,
the aggregate statutory surplus of Berkshire's U.S. based insurers was
approximately $48 billion as of December 31, 2004[update].
All of Berkshire's major insurance subsidiaries are rated AAA by
Standard & Poor's Corporation, the highest Financial Strength
Rating assigned by Standard & Poor's, and are rated A++ (superior)
A. M. Best with respect to their financial condition and operating
GEICO – Berkshire acquired
GEICO in January 1996.
headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and its principal insurance
subsidiaries include: Government Employees
Insurance Company, GEICO
GEICO Indemnity Company, and
Company. Over the past five years, these companies have offered
primarily private passenger automobile insurance to individuals in all
50 states and the District of Columbia.
GEICO markets its policies
primarily through direct response methods in which applications for
insurance are submitted directly to the companies via the
Gen Re – Berkshire acquired
General Re in December 1998. General
Re held a 91% ownership interest in
Cologne Re as of December 31,
General Re subsidiaries currently conduct global
reinsurance business in approximately 72 cities and provide
reinsurance coverage worldwide.
General Re operates the following
reinsurance businesses: North American property/casualty,
international property/casualty, which principally consists of Cologne
Re and the Faraday operations, and life/health reinsurance. General
Re's reinsurance operations are primarily based in Stamford,
Connecticut, and Cologne, Germany.
General Re is one of the largest
reinsurers in the world based on net premiums written and capital.
NRG (Nederlandse Reassurantie Groep) – Berkshire acquired NRG, a
Dutch life reinsurance company, from
ING Group in December 2007.
Berkshire Hathaway Assurance – Berkshire created a government bond
insurance company to insure municipal and state bonds. These type
bonds are issued by local governments to finance public works projects
such as schools, hospitals, roads, and sewer systems. Few
companies are capable of competing in this area.
On June 8, 2017, it was announced that
Berkshire Hathaway had settled
with California's insurance regulator, allowing its Applied
Underwriters unit to sell a revised version of its "controversial"
compensation insurance policies for workers in the state.
Utilities and energy group
Berkshire currently holds 89.8% of the
Berkshire Hathaway Energy. At
the time of purchase, Berkshire's voting interest was limited to 10%
of the company's shares, but this restriction ended when the Public
Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 was repealed in 2005. A major
Berkshire Hathaway Energy
Berkshire Hathaway Energy is Northern Powergrid, which
operates in the UK.
Until a name change on April 30, 2014,
Berkshire Hathaway Energy
Berkshire Hathaway Energy was
known as MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co.
On July 7, 2017, the company announced it would be acquiring Energy
Manufacturing, service and retailing
Berkshire's clothing businesses include manufacturers and distributors
of a variety of clothing and footwear. Businesses engaged in the
manufacture and distribution of clothing include Union Underwear Corp.
– Fruit of the Loom, Garan, Fechheimer Brothers and Russell
Corporation. Berkshire's footwear businesses include H.H. Brown Shoe
Group, Acme Boots,
Brooks Sports and Justin Brands.
Justin Brands is
made up of Chippewa Boots, Justin Boots, Justin Original Workboots,
Nocona Boots, and Tony Lama Boots. Berkshire acquired Fruit of the
Loom on April 29, 2002 for $835 million in cash. Fruit of the
Loom, headquartered in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is a vertically
integrated manufacturer of basic clothing. Berkshire acquired Russell
Corporation on August 2, 2006 for $600 million or $18.00 per
In August 2000, Berkshire entered the building products business with
the acquisition of Acme Building Brands. Acme, headquartered in Fort
Worth, Texas, manufactures and distributes clay bricks (Acme Brick),
concrete block (Featherlite) and cut limestone (Texas Quarries). It
expanded its building products business in December 2000, when it
acquired Benjamin Moore & Co. of Montvale, New Jersey. Moore
formulates, manufactures and sells architectural coatings that are
available primarily in the
United States and Canada.
In 2001, Berkshire acquired three additional building products
companies. In February, it purchased
Johns Manville which was
established in 1858 and manufactures fiber glass wool insulation
products for homes and commercial buildings, as well as pipe, duct and
equipment insulation products. In July, Berkshire acquired a 90%
equity interest in MiTek Inc., which makes engineered connector
products, engineering software and services, and manufacturing
machinery for the truss fabrication segment of the building components
industry and is headquartered in Chesterfield, Missouri. Finally
in 2001, Berkshire acquired 87 percent of Dalton, Georgia-based Shaw
Industries, Inc. Shaw is the world's largest carpet manufacturer
based on both revenue and volume of production and designs and
manufactures over 3,000 styles of tufted and woven carpet and laminate
flooring for residential and commercial use under approximately 30
brand and trade names and under certain private labels. In 2002,
Berkshire Acquired the remaining 12.7 percent of Shaw.
On August 7, 2003, Berkshire acquired Clayton Homes, Inc. Clayton,
headquartered near Knoxville, Tennessee, is a vertically integrated
manufactured housing company. At year-end 2004, Clayton operated 32
manufacturing plants in 12 states. Clayton's homes are marketed in 48
states through a network of 1,540 retailers, 391 of which are
company-owned sales centers. On May 1, 2008, Mitek acquired Hohmann
& Barnard, a fabricator of anchors and reinforcement systems for
masonry and on October 3 of that year, Mitek acquired Blok-Lok, Ltd.
of Toronto, Canada. On April 23, 2010, Mitek acquired the assets of
Dur-O-Wal from Dayton Superior.
In 1996, Berkshire acquired FlightSafety
International Inc. (or FSI),
founded in 1951 by Albert Lee Ueltschi. FSI's corporate headquarters
is located at
LaGuardia Airport in Flushing, New York. It supplies
high technology pilot training to aircraft operators in the fields of
military, governmental, corporate, and regional or mainline flying.
FlightSafety is the world's leading provider of professional aviation
training services. According to its website, the company has 1,800
instructors and offers more than 4,000 individual courses for 135
aircraft types, using more than 320 flight simulators to serve
customers from 167 countries.
NetJets Inc. in 1998.
NetJets is the world's
leading provider of fractional ownership programs for general aviation
aircraft. In 1986,
NetJets created the fractional ownership of
aircraft concept and introduced its
NetJets program in the United
States with one aircraft type. In 2004, the
NetJets program operated
15 aircraft types with a fleet size of nearly 650.
The home furnishings businesses are the Nebraska
Furniture Mart, RC
Willey Home Furnishings, Star
Furniture Company, and Jordan's
Furniture, Inc. CORT Business Services Corporation was acquired in
2000 by an 80.1% owned subsidiary of Berkshire and is the leading
national provider of rental furniture, accessories and related
services in the "rent-to-rent" segment of the furniture rental
In May 2000, Berkshire purchased Ben Bridge Jeweler, a chain of
jewellery stores established in 1912 with locations primarily in the
western United States. This joined Berkshire's other jeweler
acquisition, Helzberg Diamonds. Helzberg is a chain of jewelry stores
based in Kansas City that began in 1915 and became part of Berkshire
In 2002, Berkshire acquired The Pampered Chef, Ltd., the largest
direct seller of kitchen tools in the United States. Products are
researched, designed and tested by The Pampered Chef, and manufactured
by third party suppliers. From its Addison, Illinois headquarters, The
Pampered Chef utilizes a network of more than 65,000 independent sales
representatives to sell its products through home-based party
demonstrations, principally in the United States.
See's Candies produces boxed chocolates and other confectionery
products in two large kitchens in California. See's revenues are
highly seasonal with approximately 50% of total annual revenues being
earned in the months of November and December.
Dairy Queen, based in Edina, Minnesota, services a system of
approximately 6,000 stores operating under the names Dairy Queen,
Orange Julius and
Karmelkorn that offer various dairy desserts,
beverages, prepared foods, blended fruit drinks, popcorn and other
In November 2012, Berkshire announced they would acquire the Oriental
Trading Company, a direct marketing company for novelty items, small
toys, and party items.
On October 3, 2017, it was announced that
Berkshire Hathaway will
acquire 38.6% of truck stop chain Pilot Flying J, with plans to
increase its stake to 80% in 2023. The Haslam family and FJ Management
will retain ownership stakes until then, upon which the Haslam family
will retain the remaining 20% and
FJ Management will withdraw
altogether. The Haslam family will retain control of day-to-day
operations of the company.
Berkshire Hathaway purchased the
Buffalo Evening News
Buffalo Evening News and
resumed publication of a Sunday edition of the paper that ceased in
1914. After the morning newspaper
Buffalo Courier-Express ceased
operation in 1982, the paper began to print morning and evening
editions, currently printing only a morning edition. In 2006, the
company bought Business Wire, a U.S. press release agency.
The company began its BH Media Group subsidiary with a purchase of the
Omaha World-Herald in December 2011, which included six other
daily newspapers and several weeklies across Nebraska and southwest
Iowa. In June 2012, Berkshire purchased 63 newspapers from Media
General, including the
Richmond Times-Dispatch and Winston-Salem
Journal, for $142 million in cash.
In 2012, Berkshire bought Texas dailies The Eagle in Bryan-College
Station and the Waco Tribune-Herald. In 2013, the company
purchased the Tulsa World, the Greensboro, North Carolina-based News
& Record, Virginia's Roanoke Times, and Press of Atlantic City. As
of March 2013, BH Media owned 28 daily and 42 non-daily
On March 12, 2014, it was announced that
Graham Holdings Company
Graham Holdings Company would
divest its Miami television station, ABC affiliate
WPLG to BH Media in
a cash and stock deal.
Berkshire Hathaway Energy's
HomeServices of America (see complete list
of companies) is a residential real estate brokerage firm based in
Minneapolis, Minnesota and founded in 1998. HomeServices has
operations in 28 states and over 22,000 sales associates. In
addition to brokerage services, these real estate companies provide
mortgage loan originations, title and closing services, home
warranties, property and casualty insurance and other related
services. By the end of 2013
Berkshire Hathaway will enter the
residential real estate brokerage sector under the name of
HomeServices of America.
In late June 2017, the Oracle of Omaha indirectly acquired $400
million of the Toronto-based company's common shares as he gave a
lifeline to the embattled mortgage lender
Home Capital Group
Home Capital Group Inc.
Also in June 2017, Berkshire's $377 million investment and 10 percent
purchase in Store Capital makes it the company's third-largest
investor, after Vanguard Group and Fidelity. Scottsdale-based
Store Capital is a real-estate investment trust, holding more than
1,700 properties across 48 states.
Berkshire's other investments tied to real estate include HomeServices
of America, the second-largest U.S. residential real estate brokerage,
and Clayton Homes, which makes manufactured housing.
In 2002, Berkshire acquired Albecca Inc. Albecca is headquartered in
Norcross, Georgia, and primarily does business under the Larson-Juhl
name. Albecca designs, manufactures and distributes custom framing
products, including wood and metal molding, matboard, foamboard,
glass, equipment and other framing supplies. Berkshire acquired CTB
International Corp. in 2002. CTB, headquartered in Milford, Indiana,
is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of systems used in the grain
industry and in the production of poultry, hogs, and eggs. Products
are produced in the
United States and Europe and are sold primarily
through a global network of independent dealers and distributors, with
peak sales occurring in the second and third quarters.
Berkshire acquired McLane Company, Inc. in May 2003 from Walmart,
which brought on other subsidiaries such as Professional
Datasolutions, Inc. and Salado Sales, among others. McLane provides
wholesale distribution and logistics services in all 50 states and
internationally in Brazil to customers that include discount
retailers, convenience stores, quick service restaurants, drug stores
and movie theatre complexes.
Scott Fetzer Companies–The Scott Fetzer
Companies are a diversified group of 21 businesses that manufacture
and distribute a wide variety of products for residential, industrial
and institutional use. The three most significant of these businesses
are Kirby home cleaning systems, Wayne Water Systems and Campbell
Scott Fetzer also manufactures
On March 30, 2007,
Berkshire Hathaway announced
TTI, Inc. to be part
Berkshire Hathaway Group. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas,
TTI, Inc. is the largest distributor specialist of passive,
interconnect and electromechanical components. TTI's extensive product
line includes: resistors, capacitors, connectors, potentiometers,
trimmers, magnetic and circuit protection components, wire and cable,
identification products, application tools and electromechanical
On December 25, 2007,
Berkshire Hathaway acquired Marmon Group.
Previously it was a privately held conglomerate owned by the Pritzker
family for over fifty years, which owned and operated an assortment of
manufacturing companies that produce railroad tank cars, shopping
carts, plumbing pipes, metal fasteners, wiring and water treatment
products used in residential construction.
On October 2, 2014,
Berkshire Hathaway Automotive an autodealership
subsidiary was created through the acquisition of Van Tuyl Group the
remaining largest auto dealer in the nation and independently-owned up
to that date and it is the fifth largest with ownership of 81
dealerships and revenues of $8 billion
On November 14, 2014,
Berkshire Hathaway announced that it would
Duracell from Procter & Gamble for $4.7 billion in an
Finance and financial products
Berkshire acquired Clayton Homes, a maker of modular homes, storage
trailers, chassis, intermodal piggyback trailers and domestic
Clayton's finance business, (loans to manufactured home owners),
earned $206 million down from $526 million in 2007. Loan
losses remain 3.6% up from 2.9%.
As well as owning companies outright, Berkshire maintains a
concentrated portfolio of equities and investments which has
historically been managed by Warren Buffett. Since 2010, Todd Combs
Ted Weschler also work alongside Buffett in managing investments.
In the 2016 letter to shareholders, Warren revealed that each of them
independently manages greater than $10 billion on behalf of
Berkshire. Buffett has spoken very highly of both in public
interviews and in the 2015 letter to shareholders he described hiring
them both as "one of my best moves".
As of March 2017, 65% of Berkshire's equity securities are
concentrated in five companies:
American Express Company ($12.0
Apple Inc. ($19.2 billion),
The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company ($17.0
International Business Machines Corporation ("IBM") ($11.2
Wells Fargo & Company ($27.8 billion).
At the peak of the financial crisis in September 2008, Berkshire
invested $5 billion in preferred stock in
Goldman Sachs to provide it
with a source of funding when capital markets had become constrained.
The preferred stock yielded an annual interest rate of 10% earning
Berkshire $500 million in interest income per year. Berkshire also
received warrants to purchase 43.5 million shares with a strike price
of $115 per share, which were exercisable at any time for a five-year
term. Goldman maintained the right to purchase back the preferred
stock and in March 2011 exercised this right paying $5.5 billion to
Berkshire (the preferred stock could only be purchased back at a 10%
premium). The warrants have been exercised and Berkshire holds 3% of
the share capital of Goldman Sachs. Profit on the preferred stock was
estimated at $1.8 billion and exercising the warrants has yielded
a profit of more than $2 billion (Berkshire still owns shares in
Goldman Sachs so the entire profit cannot be quantified).
On August 26, 2011,
Berkshire Hathaway purchased $5 billion of
preferred shares in Bank of America. The investment has an annual
interest cost of 6% earning Berkshire $300 million in annual interest.
Alongside the preferred stock investment, Berkshire obtained warrants
allowing Berkshire to buy 700 million common shares at $7.14 per share
any time before September 2, 2021. Based on the share price in
June 2017, this position has yielded a profit of more than $10 billion
excluding the annual interest earned from the preferred stock.
Vandergriff Automotive, the highest selling Honda dealership in the
Dallas Metroplex, contributes $100 million in revenue every year. In
Pepsi paid Berkshire $10 million to insure against a
Pepsi held which had a potential $1 billion prize. The
prize had a very small chance of being won and it was not won by
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. acquired
Russell Corporation for $600
million, in fact getting most shares and brands in many sports leagues
– including Spalding NBA official basketballs, BIKE Athletic Company
protections, AAI (American Athletic) Gymnastics' tables, bars, rings,
horses or Dudley softball balls and accessories.
In 2008, Berkshire purchased preferred stock in Wrigley, Goldman
Sachs, and GE totaling $14.5 billion.
On November 3, 2009,
Berkshire Hathaway announced that, using stock
and cash totaling $26 billion, it would acquire the remaining
77.4 percent of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, parent
of BNSF Railway, that it did not already own. This was the largest
acquisition to-date in Berkshire's history.
On March 14, 2011,
Berkshire Hathaway announced that it would acquire
Lubrizol Corporation for $9 billion in cash, a deal that was
described as one of the largest deals ever for Berkshire Hathaway.
On March 25, 2011,
Berkshire Hathaway made its first foray into
the Indian insurance sector with its non-direct subsidiary
BerkshireInsurance.com in the presence of Warren Buffett
On February 14, 2013,
Berkshire Hathaway Inc and
3G Capital announced
plans to purchase H.J. Heinz Co. for $72.50 per share, or $28 billion
including debt. The company became a majority owner of Heinz on
June 18, 2015, after exercising a warrant to acquire 46,195,652 shares
of common stock for a total price of $461,956.52 increasing its stake
Berkshire owns 1.74 million shares of Gannett. The company also
holds part of newspaper publisher
Lee Enterprises after buying some of
Lee's debt after its bankruptcy filing.
On August 10, 2015, the boards of directors of
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Precision Castparts Corp.
Precision Castparts Corp. unanimously approved a definitive
Berkshire Hathaway to acquire, for $235 per share in
cash, all outstanding PCC shares.
Investment in Apple Inc.
In May 2016, it was revealed in a regulatory filing that Berkshire had
acquired a stake in
Apple Inc. The initial position was for 9.8
million shares (0.2% of Apple) worth $1 billion. By the end of June
2016, this stake had increased to 15.2 million shares (0.3% of Apple).
Berkshire then restarted buying Apple stock again between September to
December. By 31 December 2016, Berkshire had built up a stake of 57.4
million shares (1.1% of Apple) with an estimated blended acquisition
price of $110 per share. Aggressive stock purchases continued and by
31 March 2017, Berkshire had amassed a stake of 129 million shares
(2.5% of Apple). In the annual report 2017 Berkshire Hathaway
disclosed its total position by 31 December 2017 to be 166 million
shares (3.3% of Apple).
In media reports, Buffett says that Apple has developed an ecosystem
and level of brand loyalty that provides it with a competitive moat,
and that consumers appear to have a degree of price insensitivity when
it comes to the iPhone.
Investments in US airlines
In 2016, Berkshire surprised investors by making large equity
investments in the major US airlines. Buffett had previously described
airlines as a "deathtrap for investors". Buffett had made an
investment in US Airways in 1989 which, although he sold for a profit,
almost lost Berkshire a substantial sum of money. As of 2017,
Berkshire is currently the largest shareholder in
United Airlines and
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines and a top 3 shareholder in
Southwest Airlines and
American Airlines. Buffett himself has described this as a "call on
the industry" rather than a choice in an individual company. American
Doug Parker is said to have won over
Ted Weschler in
arguing that the airline industry had consolidated sufficiently and
rationalised supply such that longer term profitability could be
achieved in an industry that has historically been loss making in
Berkshire previously held a considerable stake in
Tesco Plc, the UK
grocery retailer. Berkshire made its first investment in
Tesco in 2006
and in 2012 raised this stake to over 5% of the company with a
cost for the investment of $2.3 billion. Buffett sold around 30%
of this stake in 2013 when he "soured somewhat on the company's
then-management" realising a profit of $43 million. As Tesco's
problems mounted through 2014, Berkshire sold all the remaining shares
with Buffett saying to shareholders that the delay in selling shares
was costly. Berkshire made an after-tax loss of $444 million on
Subsidiaries and equity holdings
Main article: List of assets owned by Berkshire Hathaway
Main article: List of assets owned by Berkshire Hathaway
Berkshire Hathaway publications
^ "US SEC: Form 10-K
Berkshire Hathaway Inc". U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
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Berkshire Hathaway buying
Pilot Flying J
Pilot Flying J truck
Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report 2017". Berkshire Hathaway.
^ Warren Buffett. "2016 Annual Report" (PDF). p. 2. Retrieved 31
^ "Top 10 Biggest Conglomerates in the World Based by Revenue".
TheRichest. 2013-05-31. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
^ "The World's Biggest Public Companies". Forbes.com. Retrieved May
^ "Berkshire Hathaway". Forbes. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
^ Fuhrmann, Ryan (31 May 2017). "What's the most expensive stock of
all time?". Investopedia.
^ Holm, Erik (2017-02-15). "Three Reasons Why
Warren Buffett Never
Split Berkshire's $250,000 Stock". WSJ. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
^ Providence Journal July 10, 2006. Projo.com (July 10, 2006). .
Seabury Stanton (1892–1971)". Findagrave.com. November 18, 2011.
Retrieved May 10, 2013.
^ a b Buffett's Worst Trade. CNBC (February 26, 2009). Retrieved on
July 8, 2011.
Berkshire Hathaway to join S&P 500, shares soar". Reuters.
January 26, 2010. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
^ Yousuf, Hibah (February 12, 2010). "Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway
joins S&P 500 Index". CNNMoney.com. Retrieved January 27,
^ Associated Press. "Warren Buffett's
Berkshire Hathaway named most
respected company". September 16, 2007.
^ "Berkshire Hathaway, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Nov 7,
2008" (PDF). secdatabase.com. Retrieved Mar 1, 2013.
^ Craig, Susanne. (September 24, 2008) "Buffett to Invest
$5 billion in Goldman", The Wall Street Journal, September 24,
2008. Retrieved on July 8, 2011.
^ "The Buffett-Blankfein Alliance", Forbes, May 2, 2010. Retrieved on
July 8, 2011.
^ "Buffett Says He Backs Goldman's Blankfein '100%'". The New York
Times (May 1, 2010). Retrieved on July 8, 2011.
^ "Schedule 13D/A". Retrieved June 3, 2017.
^ Taipei Times. Taipei Times (July 1, 2011). Retrieved on July 8,
Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Replay.web.archive.org (May 12,
2007). Retrieved on July 8, 2011.[dead link]
^ Pilgrimage to Omaha – My story of the
Berkshire Hathaway AGM
(Annual general meeting) of 2004 and meeting
Warren Buffett Archived
March 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. Peterwebb.co.uk (May 1, 2004).
Retrieved on July 8, 2011.
^ "Whitney Tilson's 2006
Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting Notes"
(PDF). Value Investor Insight. 6 May 2006. Retrieved September 28,
^ "Warren Buffett: Value Man Through And Through", Forbes.com
^ "Being Buffett ... and blunt". CNN. May 5, 2007. Retrieved April 26,
^ "People at BRKB". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 16,
^ "Berkshire moves step closer to Buffett succession". Reuters.
October 25, 2010. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
Berkshire Hathaway is pleased to announce that
Todd Combs will soon
be joining Berkshire as an investment manager" (PDF). Berkshire
Hathaway. October 25, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on
November 22, 2010. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
^ a b "Berkshire Hathaway, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Mar
1, 2013" (PDF). secdatabase.com. Retrieved Mar 1, 2013.
Berkshire Hathaway to Add Second
Investment Manager" (PDF).
Berkshire Hathaway. September 12, 2011. Retrieved September 12,
^ "Buffett Waits on Fat Pitch as Cash Hoard Tops $50 Billion".
Bloomberg. August 4, 2014.
^ "Warren Buffett's
Berkshire Hathaway expands its board".
^ "Berkshire Hathaway, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Mar 30,
1999". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Mar 1, 2013. [permanent dead
^ "Berkshire Hathaway, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jan 5,
1999". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Mar 1, 2013. [permanent dead
^ ING.com (2007-12-28). "ING to sell NRG to Berkshire Hathaway".
ING.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26.
^ a b "
Berkshire Hathaway to buy reinsurer, start bond insurer".
Marketwatch (December 28, 2007). Retrieved on July 8, 2011.
^ "Berkshire Hathaway, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date May 2,
2008" (PDF). secdatabase.com. Retrieved Mar 1, 2013.
^ Friedman, Nicole (June 8, 2017). "Berkshire Unit Settles With
California Regulator Over Workers Comp Insurance". Wall Street
Journal. New York City, United States. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
^ Merced, Michael J. de la (July 7, 2017). "
Berkshire Hathaway Makes a
$9 Billion Bid for Energy Future Holdings". The New York Times.
^ LINKS TO BERKSHIRE HATHEWAY SUB. COMPANIES – Justin Brands.
BerkshireHathaway.com. Retrieved on Dec 10, 2013.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Acquires MiTek Inc" (Press release).
Berkshire Hathaway. 12 June 2001. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
Berkshire Hathaway to Acquire Shaw Industries" (Press release).
fibersource.com. 6 September 2000. Archived from the original on 23
January 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
^ "Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. News Release" (Press release). Berkshire
Hathaway. 21 January 2002. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
^ "Welcome - FlightSafety
^ "Our Heritage". Ben Bridge Jeweler. Retrieved September 28,
^ "Our Story". Helzberg Diamonds. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
^ Michael J. De La Merced (November 2, 2012). "Berkshire to Buy
Oriental Trading Company". The New York Times.
Berkshire Hathaway to Acquire Oriental Trading Company" (PDF)
(Press release). Berkshire Hathaway. November 2, 2012. Archived from
the original (PDF) on November 19, 2012.
^ "About Us – The Buffalo News". Buffalo News. March 31, 2014.
Retrieved February 15, 2017.
^ "Who We Are". Retrieved March 13, 2012.
Berkshire Hathaway to Buy
Omaha World-Herald Newspaper". Bloomberg.
November 30, 2011. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
^ Lieberman, David (May 17, 2012). "
Media General Shares Soar After
Warren Buffett Agrees To Buy Its Newspapers". Retrieved March 9,
^ "Buffett's Berkshire buys Waco newspaper - Businessweek". January
18, 2013. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013.
^ Wayne Greene (March 17, 2013). "Buffett: Local papers have healthy
future". Retrieved June 18, 2013.
Warren Buffett Buys Post-Newsweek's WPLG". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved
12 March 2014.
^ Schiffman, Betsy. "
Warren Buffett Can't Buy Real Estate Agencies
Fast Enough". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-06-12.
dead link] Press Release
^ Marr, Garry. "Canadian real estate industry welcomes Buffett to the
neighbourhood". www.nationalpost.com. Retrieved 2017-07-03.
^ "STORE Capital". storecapital.com. Retrieved 2017-07-03.
^ a b "Metro Phoenix Real-Estate Attracts Warren Buffett". KJZZ.
2017-07-03. Retrieved 2017-07-03.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. To Acquire 60% of Pritzker Family Company,
Marmon Holdings, Inc" (PDF) (Press release). Berkshire Hathaway. 25
December 2007. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
^ Henry, Jim. "
Warren Buffett Jumps Into Autos, Buying Van Tuyl
Group". Retrieved March 9, 2017.
^ "Billionaire Warren Buffett's
Berkshire Hathaway buys North Park
Toyota". Retrieved March 9, 2017.
^ Morris, Patrick (14 November 2014). "Why
Warren Buffett Just Bought
Duracell". Money. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
^ "Chairman's letter" (PDF).
Berkshire Hathaway 2008 Annual Report,
^ "2016 Letter to Shareholders" (PDF).
^ "2015 Letter to Shareholders" (PDF).
^ "Q1 2017 Annual Report" (PDF).
Goldman Sachs Press Releases -
Berkshire Hathaway to Invest $5
Billion in Goldman Sachs". Goldman Sachs. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
^ CNBC (2013-10-01). "Warren Buffett's billion-$$$ Goldman bet pays
off". CNBC. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
^ Worrachate, Anchalee (August 25, 2011). "Franc Reverses Gain Versus
Dollar as Buffett Buys
Bank of America
Bank of America Shares". Bloomberg. Bloomberg
LP. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
^ "2011 Annual Report" (PDF).
^ Anderson, Gordon T. (April 9, 2003). "Pepsi's billion-dollar
monkey". CNN. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
^ "Chairman's Letter",
Berkshire Hathaway 2008 Annual Report, p. 18
^ "Buffett Bets Big on Railroads' Future", a November 4, 2009 article
from The New York Times
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to Acquire Burlington Northern Santa Fe
Corporation (BNSF) for $100 Per Share in Cash and Stock" (PDF) (Press
release). Berkshire Hathaway. November 3, 2009. Archived from the
original (PDF) on September 15, 2011. Retrieved September 28,
Berkshire Hathaway to Buy
Lubrizol for $9 billion". Dealbook.
NYTimes. March 14, 2011. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
^ Paul, Deepa (March 14, 2011). "
Warren Buffett to meet policyholders
in India". Economic Times. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
^ Paul, Deepa. "Berkshire Insurance". Archived from the original on
January 20, 2013.
^ Paul, Deepa. "
Warren Buffett Videos". Archived from the original on
November 2, 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
^ "14,0,673822.story Berkshire Hathaway,
3G Capital to buy Heinz for
^ Marie Cabural (18 June 2015). "
Berkshire Hathaway Becomes Majority
Owner of H.J. Heinz Company". ValueWalk. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
^ Jon C. Ogg (February 14, 2013). "Many 2013 Portfolio Changes For
Berkshire and Buffett". Retrieved June 18, 2013.
^ Wirz, Matt. "Buffett Feasts on Goldman Scraps". Retrieved March 9,
^ "Welcome to Precision Castparts Corp". www.precast.com. Retrieved
^ Quick, Becky (2016-11-14). "Buffett's Berkshire takes stakes in four
major airlines". CNBC. Retrieved 2017-06-04.
^ "Airline Shares Reach Record as Buffett's Berkshire Extends Bet".
Bloomberg.com. 2017-02-15. Retrieved 2017-06-04.
^ Fletcher, Nick (2012-01-19). "
Warren Buffett increases stake in
Tesco". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-06-04.
^ a b c d "2014 Letter to Shareholders" (PDF).
^ Kollewe, Julia (2015-03-01). "
Warren Buffett admits 'thumb-sucking'
Tesco cost him $444m". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Berkshire Hathaway.
Business data for
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.: Google Finance
Board of directors
Warren Buffett (
Chairman and CEO)
Howard Graham Buffett
Walter Scott Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway Assurance
Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies
Kansas Bankers Surety Company
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
Central States Indemnity
Gateway Underwriters Agency
National Indemnity Company
United States Liability
Benjamin Moore & Co.
International Metalworking Companies
Union Tank Car Company
Precision Castparts Corp.
Carlton Forge Works
CORT Business Services
RC Willey Home Furnishings
Fruit of the Loom
H.H. Brown Shoe Group
Berkshire Hathaway Automotive
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation
International Dairy Queen
The Pampered Chef
The Buffalo News
Bristol Herald Courier
The Daily Nonpareil
Danville Register & Bee
Eden Daily News
Grand Island Independent
Hickory Daily Record
Jackson County Floridan
The Morning News
Nelson County Times
News & Record
News & Messenger
North Platte Telegraph
The Press of Atlantic City
Statesville Record & Landmark
The Daily Progress
The Free Lance–Star
The McDowell News
The News & Advance
The News Herald
The News Virginian
The Reidsville Review
Ben Bridge Jeweler
Borsheim's Fine Jewelry
World Book Encyclopedia
MidAmerican Energy Company
Kern River Gas Transmission Company
Northern Natural Gas
HomeServices of America
Oriental Trading Company
Blue Chip Stamps
Major insurance and reinsurance companies
China Pacific Insurance
Japan Post Insurance
Insurance Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives
Ping An Insurance
State Farm Insurance
Direct Line Group
Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance
If P&C Insurance
Insurance Australia Group
Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance
Legal & General
Meiji Yasuda Life
New China Life Insurance
New York Life
Lloyd's of London
Reinsurance Group of America
Methodology: Applicable FY2013/14 revenues of over US$3 billion