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Funds News

Berkshire Hathaway to buy $4.5 billion Marmon stake

Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, speaks during a hearing about "Federal Estate Tax: Uncertainty in Planning Under the Current Law" on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 14, 2007. Berkshire Hathaway said on Tuesday it planned to buy 60 percent of manufacturing and services group Marmon Holdings Inc. for $4.5 billion. REUTERS/Jason Reed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Berkshire Hathaway Inc BRKa.N, the conglomerate headed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, said on Tuesday it planned to buy 60 percent of manufacturing and services group Marmon Holdings Inc. for $4.5 billion.

Privately held Marmon is an international association of more than 125 businesses in sectors including wire and cable, transportation services and industrial products. Its collective revenues total about $7 billion.

Berkshire Hathaway said it will acquire the remaining 40 percent through staged acquisitions over a five- to six-year period for consideration to be based on Marmon’s future earnings.

Prior to closing, Marmon will distribute a “substantial” amount of cash and certain assets to selling shareholders, Berkshire said in a statement.

Marmon is owned by trusts for the benefit of members of the Pritzker family, which is best known for starting the Hyatt hotel chain. Jay and Robert Pritzker bought Marmon in 1953, and Jay’s son Tom became chairman in 2002.

“Our transaction was done just the way Jay would have liked it to be done -- no consultants or studies,” Buffett said in the statement.

The deal is subject to closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Reporting by Emily Kaiser; editing by Gary Crosse

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