Monday, March 14, 2011



The engine-lube business looks bright, according to Warren Buffett's most-recent deal, a $9.7 billion acquisition of specialty chemicals manufacturer Announced before the bell Monday, the deal news sent shares of Lubrizol spiking by nearly 30%.

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway(BRK) holding company has been looking to put its $40 billion cash treasury to work, rather than letting it sit there rotting in our near-zilch-interest-rate environment. In the annual letter that Berkshire sends to shareholders every year, released at the end of February, the Oracle of Omaha said his "trigger finger is itchy" when it came to doing a deal.

Lubrizol, then, would appear to have met all of Buffet's buyout criteria, a list he proffered in this year's letter to holders.

Those included "at least $75 million of pre-tax earnings," "demonstrated consistent earning power," "businesses earning good returns on equity while employing little or no debt," and "simple businesses (if there's lots of technology, we won't understand it)."

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