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Kraft Foods Group and Heinz are to merge creating what the companies say will be the third-largest food and beverage company in the US.
The deal was engineered by Heinz’s owners, the Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital, and billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.
Current Heinz shareholders will own 51% of the combined company with Kraft shareholders owning a 49% stake.
The combined company’s brands will include Kraft, Heinz, and Oscar Mayer.
Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway chief executive, said: “I am delighted to play a part in bringing these two winning companies and their iconic brands together.
“This is my kind of transaction, uniting two world-class organizations and delivering shareholder value. I’m excited by the opportunities for what this new combined organization will achieve.”
Alex Behring, chairman of Heinz and the managing partner at 3G Capital, said: “By bringing together these two iconic companies through this transaction, we are creating a strong platform for both US and international growth.”
3G and Berkshire Hathaway bought Heinz two years ago for $23 billion and took the company private in 2013.
Kraft shareholders will receive a special cash dividend of $16.50 per share as part of the deal.
A special dividend payment of approximately $10 billion is being funded by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital.
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Bill Gates has topped Forbes magazine’s list of Richest People In The World for the second year.
The Microsoft founder once again beat Mexican businessman Carlos Slim to the top spot.
Bill Gates’ net worth rose by just over $3 billion in the year to February 13, to $79 billion.
There are a record 1,826 billionaires in the world, Forbes magazine said, an increase of 181 in the past 12 months.
Bill Gates has now been top of the list for 16 of the last 21 years, Forbes added.
Warren Buffett regained third place in the list with a net worth of $72.7 billion, from Amancio Ortega, the founder of Spanish fashion chain Zara.
The funds required to make it into the top 20 in the list have fallen by $2 billion to $29 billion this year.
The founders and chief executives of US technology firms dominated the list again, accounting for six of the top 20 richest men in the world.
The first woman on the rich list is Christy Walton, the widow of John Walton, one of the heirs to the Wal-Mart retail empire.
She has been declared the richest woman in the world for five of the last six years by Forbes.
Mark Zuckerberg moves up five places in the rankings to number 16, with a net worth of $33.4 billion. This is the first time he has been included in the list if the world’s 20 richest people.
The youngest billionaire in the world is 24 year-old Evan Spiegel, the co-founder of messaging app Snapchat, with a fortune of $1.5 billion.
Silicon Valley has produced 23 new billionaires this year including co-founders of car-hailing service Uber, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, and their first employee, Ryan Graves.
Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of blood-testing firm Theranos, has debuted on the global list as the youngest self-made woman at age 31, with a fortune of $4.5 billion.
The US also dominates the top 20 with 15 of the world’s richest people coming from America.
This list includes 290 newcomers, 71 of whom come from China. There is also a new record of 46 billionaires under the age of 40.
One 138 people from 2014 list dropped out of the ranks altogether. Most notable of these is current Ukrainian President and former “chocolate king” Petro Poroshenko.
Meanwhile, Guatemala has a billionaire for the first time in Mario Lopez Estrada, who owns Comcel, which has about half of the mobile phone market in the country. He ranks as 1741 on the list.
- Bill Gates
Net Worth: $79.2 billion
Source of wealth: Microsoft
Carlos Slim Helu & family
Net Worth: $77.1 billion
Source of wealth: telecom
3. Warren Buffett
Net Worth: $72.7 billion
Source of wealth: Berkshire Hathaway
4. Amancio Ortega
Net Worth: $64.5 billion
Source of wealth: Zara
5. Larry Ellison
Net Worth: $54.3 billion
Source of wealth: Oracle
6. Charles Koch
Net Worth: $42.9 billion
Source of wealth: diversified
6. David Koch
Net Worth: $42.9 billion
Source of wealth: diversified
8. Christy Walton & family
Net Worth: $41.7 billion
Source of wealth: Wal-Mart
9. Jim Walton
Net Worth: $40.6 billion
Source of wealth: Wal-Mart
10. Liliane Bettencourt & family
Net Worth: $40.1 billion
Source of wealth: L’Oreal
Source Forbes magazine
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Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has announced it will acquire battery maker Duracell from Procter & Gamble.
Last month, Procter & Gamble had announced plans to spin off the battery business.
Berkshire will acquire Duracell via an unusual move, in which the company sells the $4.7 billion shares it owns in Procter & Gamble back to P&G.
That structure will reduce the overall tax bill Berkshire Hathaway must pay.
Also as part of the deal, Procter & Gamble will first invest $1.7 billion in Duracell in order to recapitalize the business.
Warren Buffett said in a statement: “I have always been impressed by Duracell, as a consumer and as a long-term investor in [Procter & Gamble] and Gillette.”
“Duracell is a leading global brand with top quality products, and it will fit well within Berkshire Hathaway.”
Procter & Gamble had acquired Duracell when it bought Gillette in 2005 for over $50 billion.
However, as the company has sought to focus more on growth, it has started to shed some underperforming aspects of its business.
Duracell leads the battery market with an estimated $2.2 billion in sales, but that figure has not been rising rapidly.
Warren Buffett had said over the summer he was looking for “elephants” – or big, brand name firms – to acquire.
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Warren Buffett has lost $2.5 billion only this week after a sharp decline in IBM and Coca-Cola shares.
IBM and Coke represent two of Berkshire Hathaway’s three biggest investments, but their operational missteps have already cost Warren Buffet $2.52 billion this week.
On October 20, Warren Buffett lost nearly $1 billion on his third-largest investment, IBM, after the company posted disappointing earnings.
Warren Buffett has lost $2.5 billion only this week after a sharp decline in IBM and Coca-Cola shares
On October 21, Coca-Cola did the same thing, posting Q3 2014 revenue that fell short of expectations and warning of currency headwinds.
The losses in IBM and Coke add to a recent rough patch for Warren Buffett, who slashed Berkshire Hathaway’s stake in British grocer Tesco earlier this month.
Warren Buffet has described buying into the stock as a “huge mistake”.
However, Warren Buffett’s favorite bank, Wells Fargo, is up more than $816 million since Monday morning.
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Warren Buffett lost $1.06 billion after the plunge in IBM shares on October 20.
IBM stock fell $15.05 at the open, and Warren Buffett held about 70.2 million shares as of June 30, according to the most recent SEC filings. That means the sharp decline cost him $1.06 billion.
Warren Buffett lost $1.06 billion after the plunge in IBM shares
In April, after a prior weak earnings report, Warren Buffet told CNBC he had not “soured” on IBM, that he had bought more stock this year and that he had not sold a share.
IBM stock was recently the third-largest holding in Warren Buffett’s portfolio, trailing only Wells Fargo and Coca-Cola.
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Berkshire Hathaway, the investment company run by Warren Buffett, has reported a record $19.5 billion profit for 2013, up from $14.8 billion in 2012.
Warren Buffett wrote to shareholders: “On the operating front, just about everything turned out well for us last year – in some cases very well.”
However, Berkshire Hathaway underperformed the S&P 500 share index for the fifth year in a row.
The growth in the company’s book value – the company’s assets minus its liabilities and Warren Buffett’s preferred measure of Berkshire’s performance – was 18.2% in 2013, while the S&P 500 rose 32.4%.
Warren Buffett said that was to be expected when the S&P performed well.
“We have underperformed in 10 of our 49 years, with all but one of our shortfalls occurring when the S&P gain exceeded 15%.”
Warren Buffett’s investment company Berkshire Hathaway has reported a record $19.5 billion profit for 2013
He added that the fund had outperformed the stock market between 2007 and 2013 and that through a full six year cycle he expected to do that again.
“If we fail to do so, we will not have earned our pay,” he wrote.
Warren Buffett, ranked fourth on the Forbes rich list, pointed to a strong performance in the firm’s insurance, rail and energy businesses for the increase in profit.
These include the auto insurer Geico, General Reinsurance, Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad and the electric utility MidAmerican Energy.
Berkshire Hathaway increased its stake in the US companies Coca-Cola, American Express, IBM and Wells Fargo but reduced its ownership in the UK retailer Tesco – to 3.7% from 5.2%.
Warren Buffett did acknowledge he had made mistakes in some of his investments in the manufacturing, service and retail industries, some of which saw “very poor returns”.
“I was not misled: I simply was wrong in my evaluation of the economic dynamics of the company or the industry in which it operated,” he said.
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Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helu has topped Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s richest billionaires for a fourth year.
Forbes magazine estimates that Carlos Slim Helu, whose business interests range from telecommunications to construction, is worth $73 billion.
Carlos Slim Helu is followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates on $67 billion.
Famed investor Warren Buffett has dropped back to fourth place, with third spot going to Amancio Ortega, the founder of the Zara fashion chain.
Record profits, and a resulting surge in the share price of the holding company Inditex that he owns, has propelled Amancio Ortega from fifth place, leapfrogging Warren Buffett.
In contrast, the “Sage of Omaha” admitted last week that his Berkshire Hathaway investment company had a “sub-par” year in 2012, underperforming the S&P 500 index of US share prices for only the ninth time in its 48-year history.
Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helu has topped Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s richest billionaires for a fourth year
Warren Buffett, 82, was one of seven over-70s in the 10 wealthiest people on the list, with the average age of the top 10 reaching 74 this year.
Besides Amancio Ortega, another fast riser has been Larry Ellison, the Oracle tycoon, whose software firm has risen 20% on the stock market over the last year.
There have been mixed fortunes in the French luxuries sector. Bernard Arnault, the man behind Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, saw his stock fall last year, dragging him down from fourth spot to 10th.
That put him one place behind 90-year-old L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, whose estimated $30 billion fortune has been put under custody of her daughter after a long legal battle.
The two Koch Brothers, who own a giant US industrial conglomerate and have helped bankroll the radical right-wing Tea Party movement, came in joint sixth place, with $34 billion apiece.
Li Ka-Shing has held onto the eighth position and remains the highest-placed Asian, with $31 billion. The Hong Kong-based owner of Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong Holdings is the world’s biggest operator of container terminals.
The FBI is joining an investigation into suspicious trades ahead of the Heinz takeover deal last week.
The US financial regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is already suing unnamed traders for insider dealing.
Last Thursday, Heinz was bought for $23 billion by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway fund and 3G Capital.
Unusual trading activity in the shares was noticed the previous day.
“The FBI is aware of trading anomalies the day before Heinz’s announcement” a spokesman said.
“The FBI is consulting with the SEC to determine if a crime was committed.”
The FBI is joining an investigation into suspicious trades ahead of the Heinz takeover deal last week
The SEC believes that some traders knew about the takeover before it was announced and made $1.7 million from the knowledge. It obtained an emergency court order to freeze assets in a Swiss-based account.
The traders in question made risky bets that Heinz’s stock price would increase, using financial instruments called options. After the official announcement of the deal Heinz’s share price rose by 20%.
“Irregular and highly suspicious options trading immediately in front of a merger or acquisition announcement is a serious red flag that traders may be improperly acting on confidential non-public information” said the SEC’s head of the Market Abuse Unit, Daniel Hawke.
There is no implication that Heinz or its new owners have committed any wrongdoing.
The SEC said a bank account at Goldman Sachs was used. Goldman Sachs has said it is co-operating with the investigation.
Warren Buffett is set to buy food giant Heinz in a deal worth $28 billion.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway company and private equity firm 3G have agreed to take over Heinz, famous for its ketchup and baked beans.
In a statement, Heinz called the deal “historic”, and the largest to date in the food industry.
Shares in Heinz soared nearly 20% in New York to hit the $72.50 price being offered.
And Class A shares in Berkshire Hathaway rose 1% to $149,240 a share – a record closing high.
The takeover has been approved by the company’s board, but still needs to be voted on by shareholders.
“The Heinz brand is one of the most respected brands in the global food industry and this historic transaction provides tremendous value to Heinz shareholders,” said Heinz chairman, president and chief executive William Johnson.
“We look forward to partnering with Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, both greatly respected investors, in what will be an exciting new chapter in the history of Heinz.”
The deal will marry one of the best-known brands in the food industry with one of the US’s most famous businessmen.
Warren Buffett is one of the richest men in the world, having amassed a multi-billion-dollar fortune over decades of investing. His investment expertise has earned him the nickname “the sage of Omaha”.
“It is our kind of company,” Warren Buffett told CNBC.
“I’ve sampled it many times.”
“Anytime we see a deal is attractive and it’s our kind of business and we’ve got the money, I’m ready to go,” he said.
Warren Buffett is set to buy food giant Heinz in a deal worth $28 billion
3G Capital also owns the fast-food chain Burger King.
The deal will offer shareholders $72.50 a share, a 20% premium on the company’s previous all-time high share price.
Berkshire Hathaway will contribute $12-$13 billion in cash to the deal. In total around $23 billion of the deal will be in cash, with the rest in debt.
Heinz has been operating in the US market since it was founded in Pittsburgh in the late 19th Century.
Heinz says it sells 650 million bottles of its ketchup worldwide every year.
Emerging markets make up around a quarter of its global sales, Heinz said.
At a press conference following the announcement of the deal, 3G Capital’s co-founder Alex Behring assured Heinz employees the 144-year-old business would continue to be headquartered in Pittsburgh. But he said it was too soon to discuss potential cost-cutting measures.
If agreed, the deal would be the latest in a string of big deals announced recently, after merger activity suffered during the global financial crisis.
Earlier American Airlines and US Airways confirmed plans to merge, in an $11 billion deal to create the world’s biggest airline, and last week computer maker Dell announced a planned $24 billion takeover by its founder Michael Dell.
The UK’s Virgin Media is also set to be bought by Liberty Global for $23.3 billion.
Mansa Musa I of Mali, an obscure king who ruled West Africa in the 14th century, has been named the richest person in history in a new inflation-adjusted list of the world’s 25 wealthiest people of all time.
Spanning 1,000 years and with a combined fortune of $4.317trillion, only three of the list’s 25 are alive today; none of them are women and 14 of them are American.
Using the annual 2199.6% rate of inflation, where $100 million in 1913 is equal to $2.299.63 billion in 2012, Celebrity Net Worth’s list includes familiar names like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett; but sitting at number one is Mansa Musa I of Mali.
The West Africa king, the richest person in history, and the ruler of the Malian Empire which covered modern day Ghana, Timbuktu and Mali in West Africa, had a personal net worth of $400billion at the time of his death in 1331.
The list also includes the man who gave America Wal-Mart, another who developed mail-order shopping around 1870, as well as a few nobles who helped with the Norman conquest of England in the Battle of Hastings nearly one thousand years ago.
The Rothschild family, second on the list, are the richest people on earth today with assets that total at least $350 billion – their wealth divided amongst mining, banks, private asset management, mixed farming, wine, and charities.
Meanwhile John D. Rockefeller, third on the list, is the richest American to have ever lived, worth $340 billion in today’s USD at the time of his death in 1937.
In comparison, the poorest man on the list is 82-year-old Warren Buffett, who at his peak net worth, before he started giving his fortune to charity, was $64 billion.
1. MANSA MUSA I – $400 BILLION (BORN 1280)
Mansa Musa I, the richest person in history, had a personal net worth of $400b illion at the time of his death in 1331.
Born in 1280, Mansa Musa I ruled West Africa’s Malian Empire which covered modern day Ghana, Timbuktu and Mali.
His country’s production of more than half the world’s supply of salt and gold contributed to Musa’s vast wealth, which he used to build large mosques that still stand today.
According to the writings of Arab-Egyptian scholar Al-Umari, Mansa Musa I inherited his throne through a practice of appointing a deputy after the king goes on his pilgrimage to Mecca; later naming the deputy as heir.
Musa was appointed deputy of the king before him, who had reportedly embarked on an expedition to explore the limits of the Atlantic ocean, and never returned.
Just two generations after his death, however, Musa’s world record net worth was diminished after his heirs were not able to fend off civil war and invading conquerors.
Mansa Musa I of Mali has been named the richest person in history
2. ROTHSCHILD FAMILY – $350 BILLION (BORN 1744)
3. JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER – $340 BILLION (BORN 1839)
4. ANDREW CARNEGIE – $310 BILLION (BORN 1835)
5. TSAR NICHOLAS II OF RUSSIA – $300 BILLION (BORN 1868)
6. MIR OSMAN ALI KHAN – $236 BILLION (BORN 1886)
7. WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR – $229.5 BILLION (BORN 1028)
8. MUAMMAR GADDAFI – $200 BILLION (BORN 1942)
9. HENRY FORD – $199 BILLION (BORN 1863)
10. CORNELIUS VANDERBILT – $185 BILLION (BORN 1794)
11. ALAN RUFUS – $178.65 BILLION (BORN 1040)
12. BILL GATES – $136 BILLION (BORN 1955)
13. WILLIAM DE WARENNE – $146.13 BILLION (BIRTH UNKNOWN)
14. JOHN JACOB ASTOR – $121 BILLION (BORN 1763)
15. RICHARD FITZALAN – $118.6 BILLION (BORN 1306)
16. JOHN OF GAUNT – $110 BILLION (BORN 1340)
17. STEPHEN GIRARD – $105 BILLION (BORN 1750)
18. ALEXANDER TURNEY STEWART – $90 BILLION (BORN 1803)
19. HENRY DUKE OF LANCASTER – $85.1 BILLION (BORN 1301)
20. FRIEDRICH WEYERHAUSER – $80 BILLION (BORN 1834)
21. JAY GOULD – $71 BILLION (BORN 1836)
22. CARLOS SLIM – $68 BILLION (BORN 1940)
22. STEPHEN VAN RENSSELAER – $68 BILLION (BORN 1764)
23. MARSHALL FIELD – $66 BILLION(BORN 1834)
24. SAM WALTON – $65 BILLION (BORN 1918)
25. WARREN BUFFETT – $64 BILLION (BORN 1930)
Technology titan Bill Gates has been listed by Forbes magazine as the wealthiest American for the 19th year in a row, with a fortune of $66 billion, up $7 billion from last year.
There was no change in the order of the top five richest from a year earlier.
The total wealth of the US super-rich grew 13% to $1.7 trillion, with the top 400 worth an average $400 million more in 2012.
The group’s assets are worth as much as one eighth of the US economy, and grew much faster than the economy at large.
Bill Gates has been listed by Forbes magazine as the wealthiest American for the 19th year in a row
According to the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America, the average net worth of a person on the list was $4.2 billion.
In second place with a fortune of $46 billion was investment guru Warren Buffett, who is chairman and chief executive of the insurance conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway.
He was followed by Larry Ellison, head of software maker Oracle Corp, worth $41 billion.
David and Charles Koch of the energy and chemical business group Koch Industries were tied in fourth place with $31 billion.
The majority of those on Forbes‘ list became richer in 2012. Two hundred and forty-one members of the group saw their wealth increase, while just 66 saw it shrink.
Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and financier George Soros dropped from the ranks of the top 10 into 12th place compared with a year ago.
But the biggest drop was seen by Facebook founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, who fell from 14th to 36th place in the wake of a disappointing stock market listing of his company.
He lost nearly half his fortune, which is now worth an estimated $9.4 billion.
Four members of one family – the heirs to the Walmart fortune – are in the top 10.
Top 10 Forbes list:
1. Bill Gates, co-founder and chairman of Microsoft, $66 billion
2. Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, $46 billion
3. Larry Ellison, co-founder and chief executive of Oracle, $41 billion
4. Charles Koch, chairman and chief executive of Koch Industries, $31 billion
5. David Koch, co-owner and executive vice-president of Koch Industries, $31 billion
6. Christy Walton & family, heiress to Walmart fortune, $27.9 billion
7. Jim Walton, heir to Walmart fortune and chairman of Arvest Bank, $26.8 billion
8. Alice Walton, heiress to Walmart fortune, $26.3 billion
9. S Robson Walton, heir to Walmart fortune, $26.1 billion
10. Michael Bloomberg, founder and principal owner of Bloomberg LP, $25 billion.
Warren Buffett has revealed in a letter to shareholders that he has been diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer.
The billionaire investor said the cancer, detected in a routine test, was “not remotely life threatening”.
Warren Buffett, 81, said he would begin a two-month course of daily radiation treatment from mid-July.
The Berkshire Hathaway boss was diagnosed on 11 April and has since undergone a CAT scan, bone scan and MRI.
According to the National Cancer Institute, a federal agency, the five-year survival rate for US prostate cancers found at an early, localized stage is nearly 100%.
It is the most common cancer in men, with more than 241,000 new cases expected in the US this year.
Warren Buffett has revealed in a letter to shareholders that he has been diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer
In his letter, Warren Buffett said he felt “great – as if I were in my normal excellent health – and my energy level is 100 percent”.
“I will let shareholders know immediately should my health situation change,” he added.
“Eventually, of course, it will. But I believe that day is a long way off.”
In February, Warren Buffett told shareholders that Berkshire Hathaway’s board had already chosen someone to succeed him as chief executive – but not yet – and that there were two back-up candidates.
The tycoon says the unnamed chosen successor and back-ups have not been told they are in line to take over the company.
Warren Buffett has previously said his son Howard, a member of Berkshire’s board, would make an ideal chairman.
With his personal wealth estimated at $44 billion, Warren Buffett is listed by Forbes magazine as the world’s third richest person.
His name has been in the headlines this week in Washington, where lawmakers have been considering the Buffett Rule, a proposal by President Barack Obama to increase taxes on the wealthy.
It was inspired by Warren Buffett’s assertion that his secretary should not be paying a higher rate of tax than he does.