Berkshire Hathaway 1999 Annual Meeting Audience Question # 16

Berkshire is not interested in being “White Knights”

Warren Buffett:

Zone 3?

Audience Member:

Good morning.

Warren Buffett:

Morning.

Audience Member:

My name is Mike, from Omaha.

And it’s been said that you’re the white knight of the investment world because you rescue companies from hostile takeovers. Are there any companies you are now trying to help out? And would you please name those companies?

Warren Buffett:

You have a cell phone that you’re going to place orders with?

No, we… what we really want to buy into are wonderful businesses, or at least extremely good businesses. And we want them to have managements we like. And we want the price to be attractive.

And we are not in the business of being white knights. We’re in the business of being investors in things that look sensible to us.

And I don’t think I’ve been approached by anybody in connection with that.

We do get approached occasionally. I should say, we get approached when somebody, occasionally, when somebody has a takeover bid. And they say, “Would you like to top it or something?” To which our answer, invariably, is no.

Charlie?

Charlie Munger:

Well, we’re very good at saying no.

Warren Buffett:

Charlie’s better than I am, even.

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