Warren Buffett News: Lunch Auction, Fretful Shareholder & China’s H.J. Heinz Company (HNZ) Approval

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A), H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ), eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY)

Warren BuffettAuction of lunch with Warren Buffett starts Sunday (ModBee)
The California homeless charity that benefits from the annual auction of lunch with investor Warren Buffett can only hope this year’s winning bid again tops $2 million. There are no guarantees someone will pay that much for a private audience with the billionaire chairman and chief executive of Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A). But the auction has become a significant part of the Glide Foundation’s annual $17 million budget for helping the poor and homeless in San Francisco. Last year’s winner paid $3.4 million and the winning bids have topped $2 million for the past five years.

China approves Warren Buffett’s Heinz buy (SCMP)
After repeatedly criticising China’s anti-monopoly regulator for its slowness in approving global M&A, I finally have to congratulate the Chinese Commerce Ministry for improving its record with the relatively fast approval of a major deal. In this case, the ministry has given its official approval just over three months after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) announced it would partner with private equity firm 3G Capital to buy US ketchup giant H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ) for US$28 billion. H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ) announced that the Chinese green light is just the latest in a necessary string of approvals for the deal to close. It said the deal has already been approved by antitrust regulators in the US, Brazil, India, South Korea, Japan, Israel, Mexico, South Africa and Ukraine, and has also received other necessary regulatory approvals in Russia, New Zealand and Ireland. It is still awaiting anti-trust clearance in the critical EU market, as well as in Russia.

Warren Buffett hears a pitch for a cupcake company from local fifth grader (WashingtonPost)
When Krissa Hillman met Warren Buffett last week, the 11-year-old gave him a chocolate cupcake. “He loved it,” she said. “When he tasted it, all he said was, ‘Mmmm.’” Krissa was in Omaha pitching her venture, Cupcakes for Literacy, to the billionaire investor as part of a competition hosted by the animated television show “Secret Millionaire’s Club.” The fifth-grader at Bollman Bridge Elementary School in Jessup was one of 14 students selected to present their ideas to a panel of judges. Krissa started Cupcakes for Literacy about six months ago. She and her friends bake cupcakes — generally chocolate, but sometimes red velvet, too — and sell them at school bake sales. Profits are donated to libraries and literacy programs.

Investors Shouldn’t Fear a Buffett-less Berkshire (DailyFinance)
Someday, Warren Buffett will depart from Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A). Should investors be concerned? As Matt Koppenheffer and David Hanson discuss, Buffett has created a corporate culture at Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) that won’t evaporate when Buffett is gone, thanks to a culture that’s been meticulous with its day-to-day operations, capital, and succession plans. Matt and David argue that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) is likely to benefit shareholders with its disciplined approach for years to come. …Thanks to the savvy of investing legend Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A)’s book value per share has grown a mind-blowing 586,817% over the past 48 years.

Surve takes custody of a key asset (ioL)
When it finally emerged in 2010 that Warren Buffett had been pouring money into railway stocks, many people on Wall Street scratched their heads, wondering what in the world he knew that the rest of the markets did not. Some speculated, wrongly of course, that he probably saw a future that would involve putting internet traffic alongside the thousands of miles of railway tracks that criss-cross North America. Earlier this year, it emerged that he had also bought 28 daily newspapers for $344 million (R3.27 billion). What the speculators forgot were the wise words from the legendary investor. Buffett once said: “In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.” On another occasion, he pointed out that “you can’t buy what is popular and do well”.

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