Reuters blog archive
Warren Buffett’s reputation as someone who prides himself on his transparency and handpicks managers who can run businesses in a similar manner, took a blow when David Sokol, widely seen as Buffet’s successor at Berkshire Hathaway, resigned after buying shares in chemical company Lubrizol Corp before pushing Buffett to acquire it. Sokol said he did nothing wrong. Analysts said any impact on Berkshire Hathway will be short-term but acknowledged that Buffet’s brand was damaged.
Other Berkshire execs seen as possible successors to Buffett include Ajit Jain, Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group chief, repeatedly praised by Buffett for his running of the insurance business; Gregory Abel, MidAmerican Energy Holdings CEO, who Buffet called a "terrific manager" and part of a "dream team" at the Berkshire-owned utility; and Matthew Rose, Burlington Northern CEO, who joined Berkshire after selling the No. 2 U.S. railroad company to Buffett last year for $26.4 billion.
Warren Buffett's hunt for a large acquisition could lead to targets like Eaton, Illinois Tool Works or Cliffs Natural Resources, all of which seem to fit his recent preference for growth in industries outside of his core insurance unit, writes Michael Erman and Ben Berkowitz.
Vodafone will buy out Indian partner Essar in a $5 billion deal that ratchets up its exposure to a mobile market that has proved challenging despite its rapid growth.
AT&T's surprise $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom will create a new leader in the U.S. mobile sector and likely draw scrutiny. The regulatory challenge will be predicting what the dominant form of communication will be 3 to 5 years from now, analyst Evan Stewart said. The deal will take a year to close, in which time customers are expected to see improved network quality, according to AT&T.
Sprint Nextel risks being further eclipsed by Verizon and the new AT&T, which together would boast 230.3 million customers in the U.S., compared to Sprint's less than 50 million, writes Michael J. de la Merced and Jenna Wortham of The New York Times.
Extreme market volatility tends to make investors a jittery bunch. The deadly earthquakes and nuclear crisis in Japan will obviously have an immediate impact there, but the fallout from the catastrophe is expected to spread across the globe where it could delay or even cancel a slew of new share offerings and debt deals.
According to IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication, one major deal in the pipeline that's at risk of cancellation is the planned $6-$8 billion London-Hong Kong IPO of Swiss commodity trading group, Glencore, a deal expected in May.
AOL will buy The Huffington Post for $315 million, relying on the high-profile liberal pundit who co-founded the influential website to rescue it from the dustbin of Internet history. The Wall Street Journal looks at the good and the bad of the deal. Felix Salmon asks if AOL is really the right parent for the unique and very valuable Huffington Post Media Group.
The usual flurry of brokerage firm traders seeking to join hedge funds after the payout of annual bonuses could be more of a blizzard this year, with compensation shrinking on Wall Street and a regulatory crackdown in the offing.
A break-up sale could be looming for niche auto designer and producer Pininfarina SpA, creator of almost every Ferrari sportscar since the early 1950s.
A string of stake buys and takeover bids has shown how merger rules in the euro zone's two biggest economies can be used to gain control of a target quietly or on the cheap.
Goldman Sachs said it will limit its private placement of shares of social networking site Facebook to investors outside the United States, citing "intense media coverage."
Shares of Sony rose nearly 3 percent at one point on Tuesday, but later retreated as analysts dismissed speculation that the electronics maker could be an acquisition target of Apple. *View article *View WSJ article looking at an Apple tie-up with Netflix
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway said hedge fund manager Todd Combs would join the firm, potentially bringing the company a step closer to solving Buffett's succession puzzle.*View article *View background article on Todd Combs
-- Jeff Bussgang is a general partner at Flybridge Capital Partners and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School. He is also the author of "Mastering the VC Game". This article originally appeared here. The views expressed are his own. --
"Security Analysis" is cited by Warren Buffet as one of his top four favorite and most influential books. Written by Columbia University professors Benjamin Graham and David Dodd, it was first published in 1934.
China's state-owned chemicals group Sinochem has approached Singapore state investor Temasek to join a consortium that may bid for Potash, sources said. It was unclear if this potential consortium will bid to buy a blocking stake or make a full counter offer. *View article
Air Products raised its bid for Airgas to $5.5 billion, the latest salvo in its hostile move on the rival company. *View article
Hot news items today include the Teva deal, MGM Mirage's move out of Atlantic City and a possible Siemens spin off. But the limelight shines elsewhere, on a hard rocking Buffet and inmate number No. 61727-054.
Warren Buffett Rocks Out (NYT)
"The Oracle of Omaha made a guest appearance in a music video produced by employees of Geico, the insurer he owns through Berkshire Hathaway."