"We are always interested in more investments in Israel. We will be happy to acquire a large and independent company in Israel, or some small companies - what I call mergers into the existing framework and I think we will do both," Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett said in a video interview screened today at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Labor social economic conference at Airport City.
He said, "Our company CTB, which deals in agricultural equipment, bought two small companies in Israel that succeeded well and we have a company TTI that I think did a small acquisition in Israel. I loved the place. I spent some days there three years ago and enjoyed it very much, I managed to see almost all the country and I received a wonderful welcome from everyone."
The "Oracle from Omaha" believes that Israel has a sustainable advantage in the global competitive market place. He said, "If you are looking for brains - stop in Israel, there is no need to go further. If you go to the Middle East to look for oil then skip Israel," added Buffett ignoring the recent gas and oil finds off the Mediterranean coast.
He continued, "In my opinion, Israel as a state has proven that it has an exceptional amount of brains and energy and in my eyes it works. Buffett cited toolmaker Iscar Ltd. in which he bought an 80% stake from Stef Wertheimer in 2006.
Buffett said, "They had no advantages 50 years ago and more. What they brought was brains and energy and look how it has paid off. I think that this is a special example. They are the best that I've seen."
He continued, "I received an amazing letter from Eitan Wertheimer in 2006. I'd never heard of him before that or heard of Iscar. But from the letter I understood that I was hearing from a remarkable man about a remarkable company. When I met him it confirmed what I thought."
He stressed, "I'm more than satisfied with my investment in Iscar."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 12, 2010
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