WARREN ALMOST lost his sweetest deal in the final hour. He was willing to pay three times book for a California maker of boxed chocolates, but it wasn’t enough.
“When you hit your choking point, you quit,” says Buffett. “I’ve walked away from deals before and meant it. I walked away from the See’s deal. They wanted $30 million, and we offered $25 million. We walked away and, fortunately for us, they walked after us,” he said.
Warren did not fully come into his own as a dealmaker until he and his partner, Charles Munger, collaborated on the deal to acquire See’s Candies in 1972. Before that, Warren had never paid more for a company than its book value.10
For those who have never seen or tasted this California confection, ...