Diversity of experience
Consumer Products and Retail
Berkshire looks for consumer products and retail companies that provide a product or service with broad appeal to multiple groups of consumers. It is important that such companies effectively control the key elements that make their product or service successful. These elements include, first, an experienced management team, and second, an established concept that provides clear perceived value and service to the customer. Berkshire will also look for such key proprietary strengths as product design, quality execution, cost advantage, transferability to adjacent markets and general overall growth potential.
With continued outsourcing of non-core functions by corporations over the past several decades, numerous niche business-service industries have been born. Berkshire is attracted to service companies which participate in large, growing markets and whose management teams have created a culture firmly committed to excellence. Often these industries are fragmented, and Berkshire brings the capital and expertise to help management teams grow their companies into industry leaders.
Berkshire has historically deep experience in manufacturers that already can see a path toward defensible positions in growing markets. We look for companies that can achieve a low cost position operated by managers who have or are creating a strategy to lead their industry or market niche.
Berkshire's transportation investments have started with a management team that possesses both a vision and a plan to make that vision a reality. Despite the challenges posed by this capital and labor intensive business (often marked by adversarial relationships among stakeholders), these managers are prepared to put their customers first. The result: enterprises that are energized and transformed into market leaders.
Berkshire has had significant experience investing in infrastructure assets that are essential to the smooth operation of growing communications networks. The key for us is to be able to work with managements to identify true backbone assets that are required to carry the signals generated by multiple technologies or communication activities, thereby earning a return that is not dependent on the success of a specific business strategy.