Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Buffett, Seeking Acquisitions, to Travel to Europe

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett will visit Europe next month to scout potential acquisitions, said an executive at an Italian refiner who is organizing the tour.

``The purpose of the trip is to meet family-owned companies, owners of family companies, the typical European dynasties,'' said Angelo Moratti, vice president of Milan-based Saras SpA, in a telephone interview. ``His idea is that sooner or later one of these great businesses will fall into his hands.''

Scheduled for the third week of May, the tour will take the Berkshire Hathaway chairman to Milan, Madrid and as-yet undetermined cities in Germany and Switzerland, Moratti said. Buffett's assistant, Debbie Bosanek, confirmed the trip.

Buffett, 77, has been looking outside the U.S. to put his company's more than $40 billion in cash to work. Moratti said he is organizing the tour along with Eitan Wertheimer, president of Israel-based Iscar Metalworking Cos., acquired by Berkshire in 2006 in Buffett's first non-U.S. acquisition.

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