Buffett Covets Euro Family Businesses

Billionaire investor scouts targets for $40B in cash
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Apr 23, 2008 9:44 AM CDT
Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, is seen following a news conference in Omaha, Neb. in this May 6, 2007 file photo.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file)
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(Newser) – Warren Buffett is looking to put some of Berkshire Hathaway’s $40 billion in cash to work outside the US, targeting family-owned European businesses for acquisition, reports Bloomberg. Buffett—who Forbes magazine says is the world’s richest person--is going on a scouting tour next month to four European cities.

"Buffett was underrepresented in Europe, so he needed to develop his own profile,'' explains the man who'll be introducing him to owners. "We're carefully choosing who he's going to meet with. They may not be ready to sell now, but they may be ready in five years.'' Buffett usually leaves entrepreneurs in charge of their companies after he buys them, he notes, which may appeal to Europe's business dynasties.