What are characteristics of a company, or of the team/board members, that you look for?
Link to the original interview: What are you looking for when selecting IoT companies to acquire? - YouTube
As we were looking at these acquisition targets, we knew based on our legacy as a company, and in the broader parent organization of Berkshire Hathaway, we wanted to be aligned with the best companies, the most well managed companies that were out there.
So a big part of the diligence was identifying who are the leaders in industry. Do they really understand their business? Are they going at it to have the highest ethical standards possible in the way they do their business every single day? Those were the entry points into then thinking about how they would fit, and complement, what we already had as a company.
For example, Symmetry Electronics was one of the early acquisitions. They were IoT at the edge, enabling short range type communications. Once they were in the portfolio (and doing very well because we are able to infuse them with working capital which really accelerated their growth and their size), we then said “okay, let’s look for complementary companies around that”.
We wanted to start delivering a full portfolio of product types and more importantly, expertise, to our customers. And that’s how RFMW was a good second entrée in the U. S. The provided us a focus in RF, microwave, and longer range communications while still being complementary to that edge side of IOT.