- This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on April 24, Thursday.
Welcome to the CNBC Business Daily.
A suspenseful shareholder meeting for Coca Cola.
Earlier Wednesday, the company said 83% of its shareholders approved the controversial 2014 equity plan for executive compensation.
But as it turns out, one of Coke's biggest shareholders chose NOT to cast his vote.
The Oracle of Omaha spoke with CNCB's Becky Quick and told her what he thought of shareholder activism.
A: We heard from other shareholders after he made his letter public that own large blocks of stocks that felt the same way (Q: Coca Cola shareholders?). I mean, that's an issue that comes with the shareholders to vote. You are expected to cast your vote on the issue and he disagreed with it. I disagreed, I didn't vote against it, I abstained. But it is a perfectly proper thing. If you are gonna give away a part of the company, shareholders should probably vote on it.
Q: We have seen activist investors take all kinds of new pages and creat new playbooks. Bill Ackman teaming up with Valeant going after Allergan. He said that he's already heard from another public company who's identified a target they'd like them to help out with too. Does any of this strike you as strange? Does this seem like fair behavior? Does it sound like front running?
A: I don't know. i don't know the arrangement he had with Valeant. My guess is he had legal advice on it and I think if Valeant had watered itself, I don't think they would have a problem.
Q: Well except Valeant can't buy that big of a stake in another maker. I think there are limitations about which stock they can actually buy.
A: Well I don't know the answer to that one. (laughs)
Q: Does it strike you that activist investors are getting stronger and stronger?
A: Oh they are, they are. The CEOs are terrified of activists I can tell you that. They're all talking to investment bankers and lawyers and saying what do we do about this.
Q: Who is in the right or is it tough to paint all activist investors with one brush?
A: I don't think you can generalize about it. I think there are companies that have not done a good job and I'm not referring to anything specific here but certainly, if people want to step up and buy a lot of stock in a company, it's hard to argue with their right to do that.
Q: And there've been major Dow components that've been mentioned as potential takeover targets - even in IBM some people have suggested. Do you think that'll be for the good of shareholders or to the detriment?
A: It's case by case. But I'm not looking for anyone to do that with IBM
Coca cola said in a statement that it respects Mr Buffett's stance...
And said that they look forward to continuing its 'productive relationship' with Buffett.
That wraps up this edition of the Business Daily.
I'm Sri Jegarajah, reporting from CNBC's Asian headquarters.