Deals wrap: Buffett pulls the trigger

Warren E. Buffett, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Berkshire Hathaway, testifies before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission during a public hearing in New York in this June 2, 2010 file photo. Reuters/Shannon StapletonWarren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway struck a deal to buy lubricants maker Lubrizol for $9 billion in cash to tap rising demand for chemicals used to operate engines and machinery. Shira Ovide of the Wall Street Journal takes a spin through Lubrizol’s fundamentals and businesses.

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is shopping around its 66 percent stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team and the Toronto Raptors basketball team.

Venture capital investment in U.S. clean technology companies rose 46 percent to $5.1 billion last year after a big decline in 2009, according to a report by research firm Clean Edge.

Could Los Angeles-based Leonard Green & Partners do better than team up with owner-managers to buy discount chain 99 Cents Only? Bloomberg’s Tara Lachapelle and Rita Nazareth make a case for why a leveraged buyout of Dollar Tree  may offer the biggest bang for the buck, citing Bloomberg data that Dollar Tree holds three times as much cash as Family Dollar, is more than twice as profitable as 99 Cents and generates 55 percent more income per dollar of sales than Big Lots.

Deals wrap: Another potash miner in play?

The $1.2 billion sale by Swiss German chemical company BASF of its stake in K+S could trigger a battle amongst global mining giants for the German potash miner.

BASF sold its roughly 10 percent stake in the company as part of a shift away from the nitrogen fertilizer business in the face of competition from lower-cost producers in the Middle East. If Russian fertilizer company EuroChem sells its own K+S stake of 14% it could push the German miner into play, with majors such as BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto amongst the potential buyers.

The lagging economic recovery has made discount stores an attractive destination for pinched consumers and big investors alike. The Schiffer-Gold family, which currently owns 33% of 99 Cents Only Storesis teaming up with buyout firm Leonard Green and Partners in a $1.34 billion bid to take the retailer private.