Buffett disclosed in his annual shareholder letter in February that Berkshire Hathaway has $112 billion on hand, and is ready to make “an elephant-sized acquisition.”
“When you have over $100 billion in cash, you get to name the terms,” said Stephen Biggar, an equity analyst at Argus Research. “It’s just a matter of finding the right opportunities.”
“We welcome the chance to put money out any place where we think we understand and sort of trust the system,” he told the newspaper. “We’re never going to understand any other culture or the tax laws or the customs as well as the United States, but we can come awfully close in Britain.”
Historically, Buffett has invested mostly in the United States.
Buffett’s past investment in British companies hasn’t always gone well.
Buffett told investors in his annual letter that year that he’d waited too long to sell. “I made a big mistake with this investment by dawdling,” he said.
What to target
Should Buffett choose to invest in Britain, it would be a sign of confidence in the country at a time when Brexit looms large.
Britain’s reputation as a stable environment for investors has been undermined by three years of uncertainty over its departure from the European Union. The latest exit deadline is October 31.
In the past year, London’s FTSE 100 index has dropped 1.7%, while the S&P 500 has climbed nearly 12%.
Survey data for April showed that the delay “has done little to revive confidence among business or consumers,” said Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, in a recent note.
“He’s looking for good brands that could be trading at discounts and need financing,” Biggar said. In Europe, “dozens if not hundreds could fit that profile.”