Now here's an interesting coincidence. On Monday, in the course of discussing Palm Harbor Homes'
A few hours after that article was submitted for publication, I came across a piece in TheWashington Post reporting that Berkshire Hathaway
Berkshire will buy privately held RV, trailer, bus, boat, and manufactured-housing company Forest River for an undisclosed sum. The note posted on Berkshire's site doesn't give much more information than that, and it gives no details on either the price Berkshire will pay to acquire Forest River, or the valuation that's being imputed to Forest River by the purchase price. That's a pity, because a value investor can often use the valuation applied in one deal to guesstimate the takeover value of similar companies.
Lacking such valuation information in a press release, my usual instinct is to turn to the free company data provided by Hoovers.com. Hoovers puts Forest River's annual sales at just $250 million and says the company has 2,400 employees, but that's it. Which is just as well, because as it turns out, Hoovers' information is woefully out of date. The Post, however, did some digging of its own and contacted Forest River's CFO to obtain more current information. According to the company, Forest River actually made $1.3 billion in sales last year, and employs 5,500 workers.
That's roughly on par with competitor Champion Enterprises
Fool contributor Rich Smith owns no shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.