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Swiss Re
Old 02-05-2009, 03:19 PM   #1
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Swiss Re

I don't know if this would be a time to short BRK, if you feel they will do poorly by this deal or buy something that might go up along with Swiss Re but it is interesting that Buffett will get 12% AND a option to buy more shares at a reasonable fixed rate.

From the new: Berkshire’s holding, which is subject to Swiss Re shareholders’ approval, will probably be via a perpetual note paying annual interest of 12 per cent. The US investor will have the option in three years to convert into Swiss Re shares at SFr25.

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Old 02-05-2009, 04:50 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by yakers View Post
I don't know if this would be a time to short BRK
I'd like to think that all the short money has already been made here. Yup, I'd really like to think that.

Swiss Re is just another of the series of deals he extracted from Goldman Sachs, GE, and who knows how many others to come. I guess it could be called "investor of last resort" diversification. And then there's all the companies who might feel free to call him any time, like Wells Fargo, Moodys, & BNSF.

And I wonder if Buffett is feeling any longevity-related pressure to spend down the rest of the war chest. One of the Berkshire companies recently bought a RV manufacturer. NetJets is buying a German airport. Buffett has been watching (South) Korea companies for over five years. I can only imagine the "wish list" that he's been marking up in his office.

The annual report will be out in a few weeks, probably the weekend of the 27th/28th or 7-8 March. This annual report will also go into more detail on his put options, and it's probably the most-anticipated letter Buffett has published in over two decades. If he pulls off his usual highly-public calming of the faithful then it'll be a very bad time to be short.

But I've been wrong before...


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Old 02-05-2009, 06:31 PM   #3
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