Berkshire Hathaway Acquires Balance of Iscar

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Incorporated on Wednesday said it paid $2.05 billion cash to buy the 20% it did not already own of toolmaker Iscar from the Israeli company’s founding Wertheimer family.

Berkshire had in 2006 bought an 80% stake in Iscar, a maker of metal cutting tools whose formal name is IMC International Metalworking Cos, for $4 billion.

At the time, that purchase was one of the largest acquisitions involving an Israeli company, and Buffett’s biggest bet outside the United States. Wednesday’s purchase suggests that Iscar’s value has since more than doubled.

“As you can surmise from the price we’re paying for the remaining interest, IMC has enjoyed very significant growth over the last seven years,” Buffett said in a statement.

The acquisition was announced three days before Buffett will welcome more than 35,000 people to Berkshire’s annual meeting in its hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.

In his annual letter to shareholders on March 1, Buffett described Iscar as one of Berkshire’s five most profitable companies outside its insurance businesses.

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