Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Buffett Takeover Reduces Successor’s Need for ‘Amazing Insight’ - Bloomberg.com

Interesting take on Berhshire's takeover of Burlington Northern. I confess I did not consider this at all, but it makes sense. Buffett may be concerned that his successor would be left with a large cash holding that would have to be invested. This purchase, which fits his value investing mantra, effectively does away with the cash in one fast swoop.

Buffett Takeover Reduces Successor’s Need for ‘Amazing Insight’ - Bloomberg.com:
"“It’s kind of like dumbing down the asset base,” said Jeff Matthews, author of “Pilgrimage to Warren Buffett’s Omaha” and founder of the hedge fund Ram Partners LP in Greenwich, Connecticut. “It suggests that the long-term opportunities have changed, and going forward Berkshire is not much more than a general call on the American economy, whereas in the past it was a call on Buffett’s investment acumen.”

The deal culminates a search by Buffett that sent him to Europe looking for possible acquisitions and lamenting in letters to shareholders that he and Vice Chairman Charles Munger couldn’t find companies they considered large enough to meaningfully add to annual earnings."

From the NY Times' Deal book:
"Mr. Buffett’s move on Tuesday to acquire the rest 77.4 percent of Burlington Northern that he did not already own is a major step for this relatively new railroad investor. But railroads fit Mr. Buffett’s value investing thesis as they possess strong competitive advantages and significant barriers to entry."

For more on the deal see The Wall Street Journals' Deal Blog, especially good is their diagram summarizing the deal.

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