Buffett completes ownership of Iscar for $2 Billion


In another major vote of confidence on the part of one of the world’s most respected businessmen in the Israeli economy, Warren Buffett has completed his acquisition of Israeli tool-maker Iscar for $2 Billion. In 2006   Buffet purchased 80% of the company (his first acquisition outside the US) for $4 Billion. This last round will give Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway complete ownership of the company.

The Israeli media reported widely on the sale.  Buffet is widely regarded as one of the world’s most successful and shrewdest businessmen, and his investment in Iscar is a large-scale vote of confidence in Israel’s industry and economy.  Since his acquisition of 80% in 2006, the company’s value has doubled to $10 Billion, proving once again Buffet’s business acumen.  The deal is reported to bring in to the Israeli government an estimated half a billion dollars.

Berkshire had high expectations for Iscar, and the company passed them, Buffett told TheMarker. Israel isn’t a place to look for oil, but there isn’t a better place to find talent, he stated, adding that Iscar’s team is one of the best in the world when it comes to brains, energy and commitment.

Globes interviewed Buffett following the announcement.  Buffett is quoted in the interview as saying:  “Iscar will be worth more money as the years go by, because the business will be built further. The management will never be satisfied with where they are, and I love that about it. I’m never satisfied. I feel OK, but still, I look forward to tomorrow, and they do too.”

For the full Wall Street Journal article click here.

For the full Globes article click here.

For the full Haaretz-The Marker article click here.

Israel Trade & Economic Office, Embassy of Israel