Monday, March 22, 2010

Berkshire to Buy Alcohol Distributor in U.S. South (Update1)

By Andrew Frye
March 22 (Bloomberg) -- Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. agreed to buy alcoholic-beverage distributor Kahn Ventures Inc. to add sales in Georgia and North Carolina and help the company prepare for further acquisitions in the industry.
Closely held Kahn, owner of Empire Distributors, will be part of Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire’s McLane unit, Buffett’s company said today in a statement. Terms weren’t disclosed.
“We expect that the Empire acquisition will provide us with a solid platform for potentially acquiring other similar high-quality wholesale distributors,” Buffett, Berkshire’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in the statement.
McLane already accounts for more than a quarter of Berkshire’s revenue, with sales to grocery stores, retailers and chain restaurants. Berkshire was a shareholder of AnheuserBusch Cos. before the brewer of Budweiser beer was bought by InBev NV.
Buffett, 79, completed the biggest takeover of his career last month with the $27 billion acquisition of railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.
--Editors: Dan Reichl, Erik Holm
To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Frye in New York at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at