Warren Buffett has historically shown a willingness to invest in Canada and has made several high-profile investments in Canadian companies over the years. For example, Berkshire Hathaway has invested in Canadian companies such as Suncor Energy, Restaurant Brands International, and Home Capital Group.
While Buffett has not publicly stated whether he thinks investing in Canada is always a good idea, his investment decisions suggest that he sees value in certain Canadian companies and believes that they have strong growth potential. Buffett has often emphasized the importance of investing in companies with strong management teams, competitive advantages, and long-term growth prospects, and he has found such companies in Canada.
It’s also worth noting that Buffett has expressed admiration for Canada’s economy and political system in the past. In his 2015 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, for example, he praised Canada as a “well-managed, resource-rich country” and noted that he had a personal connection to the country through his friendship with Canadian investor Prem Watsa.
That being said, it’s important to remember that investment decisions are always made on a case-by-case basis, and Buffett’s investment decisions in Canada or elsewhere are influenced by many factors beyond the country of origin, including the individual company’s financial health, competitive position, and growth prospects.
Here are some of Warren Buffett’s Canadian investments.
Restaurant Brands International Inc.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway first invested in Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Tim Hortons, in 2014.
Restaurant Brands International (RBI) is a multinational fast-food holding company that was created through the merger of two major fast-food chains: Tim Hortons and Burger King. The company is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Burger King was founded in 1954 in Miami, Florida, and has since grown to become one of the largest fast-food chains in the world, with over 18,000 locations in more than 100 countries. Tim Hortons, on the other hand, was founded in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and is known for its coffee and doughnuts. As of 2021, Tim Hortons had over 4,000 locations in 14 countries.
In 2014, Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital acquired Burger King and subsequently merged it with Tim Hortons in 2014 to create RBI. In 2017, RBI acquired Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, a fast-food chain specializing in fried chicken, further expanding its portfolio of brands.
As of 2021, RBI operates over 27,000 locations in more than 100 countries, generating over $30 billion in annual revenue. Warren Buffett’s investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway, made a significant investment in RBI in 2014, following the merger of Burger King and Tim Hortons.
Suncor Energy Inc.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway first disclosed a stake in Suncor Energy in a regulatory filing in early 2013.
Suncor Energy is a Canadian integrated energy company based in Calgary, Alberta. The company primarily operates in the production of synthetic crude from oil sands. Suncor also has significant operations in conventional oil and gas production, refining, and marketing of petroleum products.
The company was founded in 1919 as Sun Company of Canada, and it has grown to become one of the largest companies in Canada by revenue. Suncor’s oil sands operation is located in northern Alberta, and it has reserves of approximately 7.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
In addition to its oil sands operations, Suncor also operates four refineries in Canada and has a significant retail presence across the country under the Petro-Canada brand. The company also has renewable energy operations, with wind farms in Ontario and Alberta.
Suncor is committed to environmental sustainability and has set a target to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The company has made significant investments in technology and research to reduce its carbon footprint and improve its environmental performance.
Barrick Gold Corporation
Warren Buffett’s investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway, first disclosed its position in Barrick Gold in its quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on August 14, 2020.
Barrick Gold Corporation is a Canadian mining company that is one of the largest gold producers in the world. It was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. Barrick Gold has operations in many countries, including Canada, the United States, Chile, Argentina, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Tanzania.
Barrick Gold’s primary focus is on gold mining, but the company also produces copper and silver. Its major mining assets include the Cortez and Goldstrike mines in Nevada, USA, the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic, and the Veladero mine in Argentina. In addition to its mining operations, the company also has a number of exploration projects underway to identify new mineral deposits.
Over the years, Barrick Gold has been involved in a number of high-profile acquisitions and mergers, including the acquisition of Placer Dome in 2006 and the merger with Randgold Resources in 2018. The company has also faced criticism and controversy over its environmental impact and labor practices in some of the countries where it operates.
Home Capital Group Inc.
In 2017, Warren Buffett’s investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway, agreed to provide a $2 billion loan to Home Capital Group, a Canadian mortgage lender. The loan was seen as a vote of confidence in Home Capital, which was experiencing financial difficulties at the time due to allegations of misleading investors.
As part of the deal, Berkshire Hathaway also acquired a 38% stake in Home Capital Group for about C$400 million ($300 million USD). The investment was made through a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway called Columbia Insurance Company.
The investment in Home Capital Group was in line with Warren Buffett’s long-standing strategy of investing in companies with strong brands, competitive advantages, and a history of good management. At the time, Buffett said in a statement that he believed Home Capital had a “strong and committed management team focused on serving its customers and growing its business.”
Since the investment, Home Capital Group has worked to rebuild investor confidence and strengthen its financial position. As of my knowledge cutoff of September 2021, Berkshire Hathaway still held a significant stake in the company.
Home Capital Group is a Canadian financial institution that specializes in mortgage lending and savings products. The company was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.
Home Capital Group offers a range of mortgage products, including fixed-rate and variable-rate mortgages, as well as home equity lines of credit. The company primarily serves borrowers who may not meet the criteria for traditional bank loans, such as self-employed individuals or those with non-traditional income sources.
In addition to its mortgage lending business, Home Capital Group also offers savings products, such as high-interest savings accounts and guaranteed investment certificates (GICs). The company operates through its subsidiary, Home Trust Company, which is a federally regulated trust company in Canada.
In 2017, Home Capital Group experienced financial difficulties when it was accused of misleading investors about the quality of its mortgage underwriting. As a result, the company experienced a run on deposits and was forced to secure emergency funding from the Ontario government and other sources.
in 2016, Shaw Communications acquired Wind Mobile, a Canadian wireless carrier, for C$1.6 billion ($1.2 billion USD). As part of the acquisition, Shaw Communications was able to secure a C$300 million ($226 million USD) investment from a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway called Columbia Insurance Company. The investment was seen as a vote of confidence in Shaw Communications’ management and strategy.
It’s worth noting that Warren Buffett has historically been a fan of investing in companies with strong brands, competitive advantages, and a history of good management, and he has made significant investments in the telecommunications industry in the past. However, as of my knowledge cutoff, there is no publicly available information indicating whether Warren Buffett or Berkshire Hathaway has made any additional investments in Shaw Communications beyond the 2016 investment in Wind Mobile.
Shaw Communications is a Canadian telecommunications company that provides a wide range of services, including cable television, high-speed internet, home phone, and wireless services. The company was founded in 1966 and is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Shaw Communications operates primarily in western Canada, serving both residential and business customers. The company’s cable television service offers a variety of programming options, including sports, news, and entertainment, as well as video-on-demand and pay-per-view services. Shaw’s high-speed internet service offers speeds of up to 1 Gbps, and its home phone service offers features such as voicemail and call waiting.
In addition to its traditional telecommunications services, Shaw Communications also operates a wireless network through its subsidiary, Freedom Mobile. The network offers wireless service in major Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, and Ottawa.
Shaw Communications has also invested in expanding its content offerings, acquiring the media company Corus Entertainment in 2016. Corus produces a range of television and radio programming in Canada, including children’s programming, news, and sports.
As of 2021, Shaw Communications had a market capitalization of approximately C$16 billion ($12 billion USD) and employed over 10,000 people. The company is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SJR.B.
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