|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||MAY 18, 2000|
|Berkshire Hathaway Inc.||Ben Bridge Jeweler|
|1440 Kiewit Plaza||Post Office Box 1908|
|Omaha, NE 68131||Seattle, WA 98111|
|Marc Hamburg 402-346-1400||Steve Davolt 206-239-6884|
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC.
BEN BRIDGE JEWELER
OMAHA, NEBRASKA and SEATTLE, WA Ben Bridge Jeweler and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A and BRK.B) announced today that they have signed an agreement for the merger of Ben Bridge Jeweler with a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. The final consummation of the transaction is expected to occur within 45-60 days.
Ed and Jon Bridge, Co-CEOs of the Seattle-based firm announced the decision to associates today and in so doing outlined the reasons for seeking the strategic alliance. "Our success has and always will be our people. By entering into this alliance, we will continue the tradition of our grandfather and fathers in overseeing the management as well as the long-range planning of the company. This arrangement will provide for the smooth transition from this generation to the next –a concern that has been at the center of this action" said Jon Bridge, Vice Chairman/Co-CEO.
"We’re pleased to have the opportunity to become a part of what we believe to be the finest family of companies ever assembled under one corporate name. Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway has demonstrated a legendary record of protecting the unique characteristics of individual businesses in a diverse portfolio of companies. We’re excited to be a part of it." according to Ed Bridge, President/Co-CEO.
Mr. Buffett expressed his confidence in saying, "I can’t tell you how pleased we are to enter into this association with Ben Bridge Jeweler. Run by an outstanding management team, Ben Bridge will be a great addition to the Berkshire family."
Ben Bridge Jeweler was founded in 1912 by Samuel Silverman, a watchmaker in downtown Seattle who later sold the business to son-in-law Ben Bridge. Ben Bridge managed the operations for 25 years before turning over the business to sons Herb and Bob. Today, The company is managed by the Bridge family including President/Co-CEO Ed Bridge and Vice Chairman/Co-CEO Jonathan Bridge. Ben Bridge Jeweler began 88 years ago with a single store in downtown Seattle, Washington. With the announced opening of its newest store in downtown Portland, Oregon, the company will operate 63 stores in eighteen United States markets.
Berkshire Hathaway is a holding company owning subsidiaries engaged in a number of diverse business activities, the most important of which is the property and casualty insurance business conducted on both a direct and reinsurance basis.