Business

Warren Buffett’s business buys KC area’s largest home builder

The Kansas City area’s housing market attracted an investment from Omaha’s Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc. already owns Helzberg Diamonds. The company has bought the assets of the Kansas City area’s largest home builder, Summit Custom Homes.
The Kansas City area’s housing market attracted an investment from Omaha’s Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc. already owns Helzberg Diamonds. The company has bought the assets of the Kansas City area’s largest home builder, Summit Custom Homes. File photo

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has bought the assets of the Kansas City area’s largest home builder, Summit Custom Homes, the companies announced.

The deal involved Berkshire’s Tennessee-based Clayton Properties. It has been buying other home builders, beginning its own operations with the purchase of an Atlanta business last fall. Clayton has sold 500 homes in its first year.

Clayton Properties bought the operating assets of Summit Custom Homes, which is based in Lee’s Summit. The announcement, which did not disclose terms of the sale, said it included about 1,200 lots in the Kansas City area.

“As we expand our site-built operations, acquiring companies like Summit Custom Homes, which is a leader in its market, is a crucial part of our strategy,” Keith Holdbrooks, president of Clayton’s home building group, said in the announcement.

Clayton said it would retain Summit Custom Homes’ 54 employees. The announcement also said Summit Custom Homes would maintain its brand. It was founded in 2002.

Fred Delibero, chief executive of Summit Custom Homes, said the sale would allow the business to accelerate its growth, which already has gained national attention.

Its revenues totaled $86.3 million, according to Inc. Magazine in a listing of the 5,000 fastest-growing businesses. Summit Custom Homes was listed at 2,562 with a 138 percent growth over three years.

Summit Custom Homes’ website said the company had sold more than 400 homes in 2014 and 2015 combined. Its markets include Lee’s Summit, Raymore, Blue Springs, Belton, Overland Park, Lenexa, Olathe and Shawnee.

Berkshire Hathaway is a large, publicly traded business based in Omaha, Neb. Its other businesses include Helzberg Diamonds.

Mark Davis: 816-234-4372, @mdkcstar

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