Berkshire Hathaway

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Berkshire’s Sokol quits after stock purchases in takeover target

Former Berkshire Hathaway executive David Sokol, pictured here in 2009, said he did nothing wrong in buying stock in a company that he then suggested Berkshire acquire. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

The man widely seen as the leading successor to Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway has resigned after buying shares in chemical company Lubrizol Corp before pushing Buffett to acquire it.

David Sokol’s resignation is a reputational blow for Buffett, the 80-year-old “Oracle of Omaha,” who prides himself on his folksy fair-dealing image and handpicks managers who can run businesses in a similarly transparent manner. Get the full story »

Buffett’s firm defends valuation of 5 stocks

Warren Buffett’s company offered a strong endorsement of five stocks it holds as part of discussions with regulators about how it should value Kraft Foods, Wells Fargo & Co., Sanofi Aventis, Swiss Re and US Bancorp. Get the full story »

Lubrizol one of Berkshire’s biggest acquisitions

Warren Buffett. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Warren Buffett’s investment company, Berkshire Hathaway, said Monday that it has agreed to buy the chemical company Lubrizol for $9.7 billion.

Berkshire Hathaway and Lubrizol said the deal was for 100 percent of all outstanding shares at $135 per share. That’s a 28 percent premium over Lubrizol’s closing price on Friday of $105.44 per share, and is 18 percent higher than the company’s highest-ever closing price, according to the companies.

The deal includes $700 million in assumed debt.

Berkshire described the deal as “one of the largest acquisitions in Berkshire Hathaway history.“ Get the full story »

Bombardier in $6.7B sales deal with NetJets

Bombardier Inc said on Wednesday it will sell as many as 120 aircraft to Warren Buffett’s NetJets Inc, a deal that could be worth more than $6.7 billion and which sent its shares soaring 8.3 percent.

The deal includes a firm order of 50 jets with a list price of $2.8 billion and options to purchase a further 70. It is biggest sale of business aircraft sale for Bombardier, the world’s No. 3 civil aircraft maker after Airbus and Boeing. Get the full story »

Exelon, ADM may be in Buffett’s sights

From Bloomberg News | Billionaire Warren Buffett said in his annual letter that wants to use his almost $40 billion pile of cash to pursue bigger acquisitions. That may put companies from Archer Daniels Midland Co. to General Dynamics Corp. and Exelon Corp. in his sights. Get the full story>>

BofA, others out as Berkshire trims portfolio

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.  added to its holdings of Wells Fargo & Co.  in the fourth quarter, while eliminating positions in several other stocks including Bank of America Corp., according to a regulatory filing Monday.

Besides Bank of America, Berkshire sold all its shares of Becton Dickinson & Co., Comcast Corp. , Fiserv Inc., Lowe’s Cos. , Nalco Holding Co., Nike Inc.  and American depository receipts of Nestle SA. Get the full story »

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in $1.5B debt sale

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway opened 2011 with a $1.5 billion debt sale on Monday, tapping markets as it customarily does early in the year to refinance maturing notes. Get the full story »

Mansueto joins billionaires giving away half of wealth

Joe and Rika Mansueto at their home in Chicago on May 9, 2008. (Handout)

Another 17 U.S. billionaires, including Facebook co-founders Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz as well as Morningstar’s Joe Mansueto, have pledged to give away at least half their fortunes in a philanthropic campaign led by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

A total of 57 billionaires now have joined The Giving Pledge, which was launched by Microsoft founder Gates and investor Buffett in June. The campaign announced the new pledges in a statement late Wednesday.

Gates, his wife Melinda, and Buffett have asked U.S. billionaires to give away at least half their wealth during their lifetime or after their death, and to publicly state their intention with a letter explaining their decision. Get the full story »

Buffett sells Carmax, Home Depot stakes

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway no longer held stakes in used car retailer Carmax, home improvement retailer Home Depot or waste manager Republic Services as of September 30, according to a filing with securities regulators on Monday. Get the full story »

Berkshire-Hathaway profit falls on derivative losses

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway said on Friday that its third-quarter profit fell as it lost money on a portfolio of stock index derivatives, despite strong market gains in the quarter. Get the full story »

Warren Buffett hires possible successor

Billionaire Warren Buffett renewed speculation about his successor Monday by hiring a new investment manager to handle “a significant portion” of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s investment portfolio. Buffett offered few details about Todd Combs, 39, but the move fits with the succession plan the 80-year-old has outlined for the company he leads. Get the full story »

SEC queried Buffett’s Berkshire on loss accounting

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission questioned Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in the second quarter on why it was not writing down large losses on shares in Kraft and US Bancorp, but the company insisted its accounting was right. Get the full story »

Buffett not interested in buying from LBO firms

Bloomberg News| Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says he won’t shop for takeover candidates at leverage buyout firms, because “don’t know the business.”

“We have an entrance strategy,” Buffett said, and they have an exit one.

Warren Buffett’s man in Chicago retiring from Geico

Lou Simpson, the Chicago-based investor with such a stellar track record he once was considered the successor to Warren Buffett, is retiring at the end of the year after decades managing Geico’s investment portfolio.

Geico is owned by Buffett’s investment vehicle, Berkshire Hathaway. Simpson, 73, who grew up in Highland Park, is the only person other than Buffett who controls Berkshire investments.

“I wish he weren’t” retiring, Buffett told me. “Obviously, I would keep him employed till he was 100. I was very surprised when he called me a month ago and said, ‘At 74, I’d just as soon turn it over to somebody else.’ It was not a happy day at Berkshire. But I’m happy for him.” Get the full story »

Film paints Pritzkers as obstacle to recovery

Workers at the Union Tank Car plant. (Show Us The Tax Breaks)

A short film produced by the hotel workers’ union and screened Wednesday evening in Chicago holds up the city’s wealthy Pritzker family as poster children for corporate decision-making that they say has contributed to the downfall of the economy.

“Show Us the Tax Breaks” attacks the family, and Penny Pritzker in particular, for the decision to close East Chicago’s Union Tank Car plant in 2008. The plant was one of the largest employers in East Chicago, Ind., and when it closed, hundreds of workers were left unemployed. Get the full story »