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R.C. WILLEY TO KEEP IT’S NAME AND MANAGEMENT BUT TAP INTO BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY CONNECTIONS

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Periodically, as part of R.C. Willey Home Furnishing's sales promotions, the company offers free hot dogs and soft drinks to its customers on Saturdays.

Now that the company has been sold to Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Omaha, Neb., William H. Child, R.C. Willey's chief executive officer, said he will make certain the soft drink is from The Coca Cola Co. since Berkshire Hathaway has an 8 percent interest in the soft-drink giant.During a Wednesday afternoon news conference in R.C. Willey's corporate headquarters at 2301 S. 300 West, Child acknowledged that he will purchase products from other companies in which Berkshire Hathaway has an interest.

In spite of now being owned by 63-year-old Warren E. Buffett, BH's chairman and chief executive officer whose net worth is around $11 billion, Child said the company will still have the same management (his brother Sheldon Child is the president), will retain the R.C. Willey name and will continue its quest to be the best furniture company in the United States.

During a telephone interview with Buffett from Omaha, Buffett said he visited the R.C. Willey operation two months ago and had never seen people in retail who responded so well to their management. He said the company's heritage has been built over many years.

R.C. Willey's 51 percent share of the furniture market in Utah was achieved through good management and competition, said Buffett, and the competitive nature will continue to be reflected in the company's prices.

Child, who was the principal stockholder in R.C. Willey, didn't disclose the amount of the transaction, but it was a stock swap - with BH purchasing all of R.C. Willey's stock in exchange for BH stock, which is closing at $23,000 per share on the New York Stock Exchange.

Not needing to sell because of R.C. Willey's tremendous growth to the present annual sales of $250 million, Child said he was concerned about estate taxes impacting the company's structure in the event of his death. Child said the transaction was "very fair to both sides, a win-win situation."

Buffett, who has built his multi-billion-dollar company through shrewd investments and purchasing successful companies, said R.C. Willey has managed to expand through its own resources. With the purchase, Buffett said that will continue to be the case, but if needed "Berkshire can write a check on a moment's notice."

Asked if that means expansion, Child said the company isn't going to stand still and it could mean more R.C. Willey stores both in and out of Utah.