Berkshire Hathaway Friday announced an agreement to buy Detlev Louis Motorradvertriebs, a German motorcycle apparel and accessories retailer for 400 million euros ($452 million).
And Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett says that may just mark the beginning of a love affair with the continent.
"Europe has hundreds of millions of people, high incomes, productive people, so it is a great place to be," the legendary investor tells the Financial Times
. "The U.S. is my first love, but I see terrific possibilities for us in Europe."
Clearly Buffett isn't concerned that the eurozone's economy grew only 0.9 percent last year. Indeed, the continent's economic weakness makes it just the kind of value play that attracts Buffett.
A whopping 85 percent of Berkshire's revenue now comes from the United States, according to the Times.
Buffett hopes the Detlev deal will be a "door opener" for more purchases in Europe. "There is nothing like a deal to get people's attention," he explains. "This is smaller than something we would normally do, but it is a door opener. I like the fact that we have cracked the code in Germany."
Meanwhile, the Oracle of Omaha's decision to jettison Berkshire's Exxon Mobil shares in the fourth quarter of last year gives a nod to smaller oil producers over the majors, Bloomberg reports.
Berkshire raised its stake in Canadian oil-sands miner Suncor Energy and crude refiner Phillips in the fourth quarter.
The company "thinks there's some value in the oil space but that there are other companies better positioned to benefit when prices recover," Morningstar analyst Allen Good tells Bloomberg
. The Suncor investment signals "a favorable long-term outlook on oil prices."
Other investors may follow suit. "When Buffett does something, it gets people's attention definitely," Manuj Nikhanj, head of energy research for broker-dealer ITG, tells Bloomberg. "He's the best investor in the world, but with oil and gas it's just tougher."
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