Warren Buffett Still on the Lookout for Deals
Berkshire Hathaway's $9 billion purchase of Lubrizol last week doesn't mean that the Oracle of Omaha is out of the game when it comes to business acquisitions.
"We have not exhausted our potential for significant acquisitions, that's for sure," Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, told CNBC.
In his annual letter to shareholders just a few weeks ago, Warren Buffett wrote that he had his "elephant gun" loaded, and that his trigger finger was itching for a new purchase.
That kicked off a round of market speculation as to what big game he had in his sights. On March 2, Buffett told Squawk Box that he had recently missed out on a deal.
Lubrizol "is not an elephant," says Buffett, "but I told you that we'd missed a zebra here a few weeks ago .... That deal was smaller than this so you pick the animal but its somewhere between a zebra and an elephant."
Even though Buffett is still on the lookout for deals, he admitted that he may not be ready to shoot an elephant any time soon. "We can handle $9 billion less than a few weeks ago," he added.
Berkshire had $38 billion in cash and equivalents at the end of 2010. But Buffett's purchase price is restricted because he is loathe to use Berkshire shares for acquisitions, and because he likes to keep $20 billion in cash at all times.
"It means I can't quite aim at the same size elephant I may have aimed at immediately but we'll replenish the money," Buffett said.
For more on Buffett's thoughts on acquisitions, the economy and the fallout from the Japanese earthquake, tune in to CNBC's Squawk Box from 6 to 9 am Eastern Monday.