Warren Buffett has turned down a takeover bid for Tiffany and Co., the US jeweler. and ended a four-year expansion of Berkshire Hathaway, without making a major acquisition. Tiffany reportedly invited Buffett to make an offer after he received an offer from LVMH, the French luxury goods giant. Buffett later confirmed Tiffany’s offer.
The media quoted bankers who had advised Mr. Buffett as saying that Mr. Buffett had admired Tiffany and saw him as a possible acquisition. In fact, he helped the retailer weather the financial crisis in 2009 by buying $250 million worth of Tiffany’s bonds.
However, he rejected Tiffany’s offer, which resulted in a $16.2 billion deal in November.
The news is likely to disappoint Berkshire’s investors. Some of them have clamored for Mr Buffett to mobilize Berkshire’s record $128bn in cash reserves and pull on the “elephant-class acquisition” he has been making for years.
However, in his latest letter to shareholders, Mr Buffett wrote: “Companies with good long-term prospects are now sky-high prices.” ”
Buffett recently bid $140 a share for Tech Data, a technology product distributor, but was replaced by private equity firm Apollo Global Management Inc. The offer of $145 per share exceeds that of the price.