Tags: warren | Buffett | prowl | Deal | Europe

Buffett on the Prowl for a Deal in Europe

By Dan Weil   |   Wednesday, 26 May 2010 09:15 AM

Warren Buffett may make an acquisition in Europe soon, says his scout there, Angelo Moratti, an Italian energy executive who arranged Buffett’s tour through the continent in 2008.

“I believe that Warren Buffett is now on the radar screen for European entrepreneurs,” says Moratti, who led Buffett through Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.

“Ten years ago they didn’t know who he was; three years ago they knew but didn’t understand. Now they know,” he told Bloomberg.

The timing might be propitious for Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, as the euro’s recent drop to a four-year low against the dollar makes European assets cheaper in dollar terms.

But currency rates aren’t an issue for the Oracle of Omaha, according to Moratti.

“He’s not interested in the macroeconomic scenario. We hardly would talk about what the euro will be doing,” the Italian said.

“He’s looking for a business that is of considerable size, that has long-term prospects, good management and comes out for a fair price.”

Buffett has spurned proposals from European companies during the past two years, because they were too small or had too much debt, according to Moratti.

But now, “The possibility that something’s coming up gets bigger and bigger,” he said.

Berkshire reduced its U.S. stock holdings by 12.1 percent in the first quarter, to $50.9 billion, compared to $57.9 billion at the end of last year.

That includes a 22.8 percent reduction in its Kraft Foods stake.

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Warren Buffett may make an acquisition in Europe soon, says his scout there, Angelo Moratti, an Italian energy executive who arranged Buffett s tour through the continent in 2008. I believe that Warren Buffett is now on the radar screen for European entrepreneurs, says...
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2010-15-26
 

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