No rest for the Octogenarian Sage of Omaha

Yesterday shareholders in Berkshire Hathaway will have received their annual letter from Warren Buffett, the CEO, containing the news that the octogenarian has no intention of handing over the reins just yet to the youngsters. In fact in his letter he makes it clear that "our elephant gun has been reloaded” and that his “trigger finger is itchy" – confirmation that Berkshire Hathaway is back on the acquisition trail in its ongoing pursuit of providing shareholder value.

The company reported a 61% growth in earnings in 2010 and as you can imagine has significant cash reserves available to pursue its stated intention to commence upon the acquisition trail.

Looking at 2009 and 2010 Berkshire Hathaway was not as prolific in terms of numbers of deals as say in 2007 and 2008. However, the $26bn acquisition of Burlington Northern Sante Fe Corporation was the largest deal where Berkshire Hathaway took a majority stake since it acquired a 60% stake for $4.5bn in Marmon Holdings which completed early in 2008.

In his letter to his shareholders, Mr Buffett outlined his belief that there is still value to be had both in US-based corporations and ultimately demonstrating his confidence in the American economy. That said if the Sage of Omaha feels there is value to be had in a none-US entity there would be no reason to believe that he would not pursue the opportunity no matter where it was located.

So when most octogenarians are thinking more about their health and filling their free time, there is one residing in Omaha, Nebraska that considers anyone in their 70s still to be an apprentice in terms of his organisations and for whom slowing down doesn't appear to be an option!

Filed under: US, dealmaking