Buffett Watch

Berkshire Hathaway's Cort Buys British Furniture Rental Company

The furniture rental subsidiary of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is expanding into the United Kingdom.

In a news release today, Cort, "the leading furniture provider in the 'rent-to-rent' industry in the United States," says it is buying England's Roomservice Group, which describes itself as "the UK's leading furnishing solutions provider."  The price is not included in the release.

The new operation in the U.K. will be named Roomservice by Cort.  Cort says it's the "first international acquisition in the company's 35-year history."

In the release, Cort says it has appointed a consultant to "assist in capitalizing on the opportunities provided by increased instututional ownership of residential property" in the U.K.

They're talking about real estate investment trusts, which are widespread in the U.S. but still relatively new in the U.K.

In the release, Blair Neller, described as the former president of a "leading provider of furniture rental services to REITs," has this quote: "We believe there are a number of similarities between the U.S. market prior to the introduction of REITs and the current U.K. residential property market where the REIT model is now being introduced. By effecting this acquisition now, we will be well-positioned to take advantage of the growing appetite for residential property among financial institutions and large scale private investors."

By the way, Cort's website has a video clip of a commercialfor the company in which Buffett gets to deliver the tag line on camera: "Wherever you're heading, we'll be there."

Questions?  Comments?  Email me at buffettwatch@cnbc.com

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