DealZone

Deals wrap: Barrick strikes deal for Equinox

Barrick Gold said it will acquire Australia’s Equinox Minerals for more than C$7 billion ($7.36 billion), topping an offer by China’s Minmetals Resources. Barrick said it has committed cash and financing in place for the transaction.

NYSE Euronext sees higher savings of almost 400 million euros ($584 million) in its $9.8 billion deal with Deutsche Boerse, up by about a third from its initial estimates, according to a Big Board spokesman. The new savings estimate, along with 100 million euros in benefits coming from cross-selling and distribution opportunities, would bring the total savings and benefits from the deal to about $725 million.

All eyes will be on Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder’s meeting next weekend, as he will undoubtedly face questions regarding the resignation of his presumed successor David Sokol. This piece in the New York Times examines Buffett’s hands-off management style, which may come under scrutiny after Sokol’s resignation following news of his dealings in Lubrizol prior to Berkshire’s acquisition of the chemicals company.

A Reuters special coverage piece on Buffett also questions whether it is time for the 80-year old business manager to take a bow and exit the stage.

Deals wrap: What now for Berkshire?

David Sokol, Chairman, MidAmerican Energy Holdings, and Chairman, President, and CEO of NetJets, speaks during the Fortune Brainstorm Green conference in Dana Point, California April 13, 2010. Reuters/Mario AnzuoniWarren 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.