Warren Buffett, renowned US investor, is at the point where he is going on an acquisition spree in the biggest economy in Europe after he got the ball rolling last week by purchasing a niche German retailer through Berkshire Hathaway, his holding company.
Buffett said in an interview with Handelsblatt newspaper on Wednesday that he was interested in German companies because of the legal and regulatory protection for investors, as well as the smaller businesses having a global reach, like Detlev Louis Motorrad-Vertriebs, the motorcycle accessories and apparel company that he purchased last week, as an example.
“We are definitely interested in buying more German companies,” said Buffett to the newspaper. “Germany is a great market: lots of people, lots of purchasing power and Germans are productive. We also like the regulatory and legal framework.”
Buffett, ready and willing to pay cash for German companies, mentions that the weakness in the euro was only one of the reasons why he decided to ramp up his German investments.
“The bottom line is that the weak euro is naturally good for acquisitions,” said Buffett. “But the euro’s exchange rate is not our primary motivation. We simply want to own more good companies in Germany – that’s our goal.”
When asked about previous rumors in regards to Berkshire Hathaway purchasing the sweet maker Haribo, as well as Heidelberg Druckmaschinen the printing press manufacturer, Buffett said: “sometimes there are reports that we’re interested even though it’s not true. But if you can arrange a transaction, I’d pay you a fee.”
Berkshire Hathaway made an agreement to purchase Detlev Louis for just over €4 million, which equals US$456 million.