The 2011 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting will be held Saturday, April 30, in Omaha, Neb. The company has averaged an annual growth in book value of 20.3% for its shareholders for the last 44 years. Here are some of the companies that Berkshire has acquired during the past few decades.
The Montvale, N.J.-based paint company was founded in 1883 by Benjamin Moore and his brother, Robert, in Brooklyn. The entrepreneurs began with only $2,000 and one product, “Moore’s Prepared Calsom Finish,” which was sold exclusively through independent retailers. Moore established his business with his belief in “the exercise of intelligent industry in the spirit of integrity.”
Business Wire is in commercial news distribution, disseminating press releases from thousands of companies to news media and databases. It offers preset and customized RSS news feeds. Berkshire Hathaway acquired it in 2006.
This clothing and underwear manufacturing company is located in Bowling Green, KY, and became a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway in 2002 for $835 million. The company, which has its roots in Providence, R.I., sells its products to major discount chain stores, mass merchandisers and wholesale clubs, as well as many department stores.
The Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO), made famous by its gecko mascot, is an auto insurance company that provides coverage to more than 10 million motor vehicles, owned by approximately nine million policy owners. Rather than utilizing agents, GEICO has a direct-to-consumer sales model, with several national campaigns in the form of television advertising. In 1996, after many years being publicly traded, GEICO became a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.
The soft-serve ice cream and fast-food restaurant chain was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway in 1998. The company’s corporate offices are located in Edina, M.N. Dairy Queen has more than 5,700 locations in 19 countries.
NetJets offers fractional ownership and rental of private business jets. The company, which was founded in 1964, was formerly known as Executive Jet Aviation. Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffet acquired the company in 1998 after being a customer himself for three years.
BNSF, headquarted in Fort Worth, Texas and acquired by Warren Buffet in 2009, is a North American Class I transcontinental railroad and the second largest railroad network in North America. The company is a product of 400 railroad lines acquired over 160 years. Its network covers the western two thirds of the U.S and covers 32,000 miles
See’s, founded in 1921 and acquired by Berkshire Hathaway in 1972, is well known on the West coast for its Famous Old Time Candies. Using “Quality Without Compromise” as its motto, See’s utilizes highest grade, raw ingredients to make its boxed chocolates. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with kitchens located in Los Angeles and San Francisco. There are approximately 200 shops in total.
The Pampered Chef is a direct seller of high quality kitchen tools. At in-home cooking shows, guests can view and try products, sample recipes and learn food preparation techniques. The company was founded in 1980 by Doris Christopher, a mother who saw a need for professional kitchen tools in an everyday kitchen. It was acquired in 2002 by Berkshire Hathaway.
Here's a look at some of the most recognized, and also lesser-known, companies that Berkshire Hathaway has acquired over the years.