Warren Buffett says he was close to making a 'very large' acquisition in the fourth quarter


“That disappointing reality means that 2019 will likely see us again expanding our holdings of marketable equities. We continue, nevertheless, to hope for an elephant-sized acquisition. Even at our ages of 88 and 95 – I’m the young one – that prospect is what causes my heart and Charlie’s to beat faster,” he said. He was referring to his partner, Charlie Munger.

Berkshire had $112 billion in cash at the end of 2018, Buffett said Saturday, and investors were eager to find out what the plans were for the massive cash pile.

Buffett hinted on Monday that he was seeing some competition for acquisitions from private equity, who have a tremendous amount of buying power these days when they use leverage, he noted. “It’s just a huge amount of competition,” Buffett said on Monday.

Berkshire posted a rare share loss during the fourth quarter, taking a massive $3 billion write-down on its investment in Kraft Heinz. The company disclosed the write-down last week after Kraft Heinz slashed the value of its Oscar Mayer and Kraft brands by $15.4 billion.

Buffett told CNBC on Monday that Berkshire paid too much for Kraft, noting he might have misjudged certain aspects about the company.


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