LESSON 17

The Last Step Is Always Slippery

AFTER A brief deal-making hiatus, Berkshire Hathaway’s March 14, 2011, decision to buy the Lubrizol Corporation for approximately $9 billion marked Warren’s return to the mergers and acquisitions market. Lubrizol, based in Cleveland, is a chemical company that produces additives for gasoline, diesel fuel, engine oils, and other industrial lubricants.11

This was a nice addition for Warren, but apparently someone else had reasons to grease the deal.

David Sokol, a former star executive and potential candidate to replace Warren atop the Berkshire empire, faced a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry shortly after the deal when it emerged that he had bought shares in Lubrizol while he was helping to ...

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