Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Evergreen Sage to venture abroad

Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett

Carlsberg doesn't make shareholders' meetings, but if they did, they'd probably be like shareholder meetings at Berkshire Hathaway.

The investment company, which is led by charismatic corporate octogenarian, Warren Buffett, held its annual shareholder meeting before 38,000 company members in Omaha Nebraska, last week.

Berkshire companies sell a huge amount of goods over the shareholder weekend, and it also features a question and answer session with Mr Buffett (83), the chairman of the business, and his even more experienced vice-chairman, Charlie Munger, who's 90. Mr Buffett and fellow director, Bill Gates, mingle freely with shareholders in Berkshire Hathaway company stalls– and the pair also take part in a newspaper-tossing competition, which became part of the weekend's events in 2012 after Berkshire bought the Omaha World-Herald. It also owns NetJets, which announced a big contract with Bombardier in 2012.

Buffett, known as the Sage of Omaha for his unerring ability to make wise investments, announced to shareholders that he was looking for a new foreign acquisition. So far, all his investments have been big US businesses, but in his 84th year, Mr Buffett wants something beyond America's shores. "We have not had much luck getting on the radar screens of owners around the world as we have in the US."

He said he would like to buy from a company founder, or their family – so family companies in Northern Ireland, approach Warren, and see if he's ready to bite. And let me know what happens.

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