DealZone

Deals wrap: A successor for Buffett?

A fairly unheralded 44-year-old Chinese-American hedge fund manager, with a strong background as a human rights activist, has become a leading candidate to replace Warren Buffett, should he retire as founder and CEO of the $100-billion Berkshire Hathaway fund, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Li Lu, who was a student leader during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing, is the first person to be identified to potentially replace the soon to be 80-year-old Buffett, in what the WSJ story said is “among the most high-profile succession stories in modern corporate history.”

Buffett told the WSJ his retirement plans are not imminent and his job would likely be split after he leaves the company into separate CEO and investing functions. The WSJ story revealed David Sokol, the current chairman of Berkshire unit MidAmerican Energy Holdings, is considered the top contender for Buffett’s CEO role, while Li would potentially serve as one of Berkshire’s top fund managers.

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Recently Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told ABC News’s Diane Sawyer he would only consider an IPO “when it makes sense,” but now Bloomberg, “citing three people familiar with the matter,” reports that may not be until 2012.

The postponement would give Zuckerberg more time to increase users – Facebook just surpassed the 500 million mark – and boost sales which could double to at least $1.4 billion in 2010, according to the sources quoted by Bloomberg.

Deals wrap: GM to file for IPO in August?

Government-rescued automaker General Motors plans to file its registration for an initial public offering during the week of August 16, according to a Reuters report that cited two people with direct knowledge of the preparations.

The public offering is seen as necessary for GM to reduce the government’s ownership in the company after it was forced to accept a $50-billion bailout last year.

The Reuters story puts the potential move in perspective:

“An IPO for the U.S. automaker, which was restructured in bankruptcy last year, would be the biggest U.S. stock offering since Visa Inc’s $19.7 billion March 2008 IPO and one of the biggest IPOs of all time.”