Most people equate Berkshire Hathaway to Warren Buffett and while it’s true he has owned the entity since the 1960s, his portfolio expands far beyond one company. Buffett has used Berkshire Hathaway as a way to acquire countless other companies throughout the years. Based on the company’s most recent SEC filings, it currently owns over 200 other companies. Here are ten companies that you may not have realized Warren Buffett owns.
One of Buffett’s first purchases after Berkshire Hathaway was See’s Candies. The national candy brand was founded by Charles A. See in 1921 in California. Buffett thought the company would be a great investment and purchased the company for a sweet $25 million in 1972.
Helzberg’s Diamond Shops, Inc.
Helzberg was founded in 1915 and was in its third generation of family ownership when Buffett bought the jewelry chain in 1995. Today there are over 200 Helzberg stores nationwide.
Warren Buffett has always liked the insurance industry due to the fact that insurance companies receive premium payments long before they have to pay out any losses, thus creating tons of excess cash that can be invested in other businesses. He started buying shares of the Government Employees Insurance Company early on and in 1996 paid $2.3 billion for the remaining 49% of the company he didn’t already own. Today GEICO insures more than 23 million vehicles and has assets over $32 billion.
Warren Buffett is pretty famous for being a picky eater. He sometimes equates his longevity to having the diet of an eight-year-old. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he owns Dairy Queen, makers of the Dilly Bar and Blizzard. Buffett purchased Dairy Queen in 1998 for $585 million.
When you’re as busy as Warren Buffett, time is literally money, so anything that helps you travel faster is worth its weight in gold. Enter NetJets, the ride share company of the sky. NetJets allows its customers to buy fractional ownership shares in a private jet, thus saving them the time and hassle of flying commercial. Buffett loved the idea so much he bought the entire company in 1998.
Benjamin Moore & Co.
While it may not seem like it, paint is big business. Buffett recognized this and snapped up the maker of high-quality paints in 2000. The $1 billion purchase price shows just how valuable paint really can be.
Fruit of the Loom
Fruit of the Loom is a pretty popular brand, I mean who doesn’t remember those commercials with people dressed up like fruit . But in the early 2000s, the company fell on hard times and declared bankruptcy. Buffett, known for liking well known, but undervalued brands purchased the company out of bankruptcy in 2002 for $835 million.
Russell Athletic & Brooks Sports
As Buffett has gotten older, doctors told him he either needed to change his diet or start exercising. Changing his diet was out of question, so he dove head first into exercising and bought these two well known brands. Brooks, maker of high performance athletic shoes, was acquired by Russell Athletic in 2004. Buffett purchased the entire sports apparel company two years later for $600 million.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe
One of Buffett’s largest and most recent purchases is this giant railway operator. Owner of the one of the largest freight railway networks in the North America, Buffett purchased the company in 2009 in a deal valued at $34 billion. I guess he learned from Monopoly to always buy the railroads.
The acquisition of the leading battery manufacturer was quite the journey for Buffett. He was originally an investor in their parent company, Gillette, when the company was sold to Proctor & Gamble in 2005. Buffett then used his considerable gain from the sale to buy Duracell outright from Proctor & Gamble in 2014. The deal valued the company at $4.7 billion.
Out of the 10, how many companies did you know Buffett owned?