WSJ: Koch Brothers Seek to Emulate Buffett as Deal Makers

Friday, 05 Jul 2013 09:05 AM

By Dan Weil

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Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who are known largely for their huge donations to conservative political causes, would like to receive credit for their deal making prowess too.

They see their Koch Industries acting like Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, The Wall Street Journal reports. Koch is a privately-held industrial conglomerate with $115 billion of annual revenue.

It is particularly interested in acquiring energy and agriculture-related companies.

Editor’s Note:
Put the World’s Top Financial Minds to Work for You


As for Buffett, "he's done a great job of having a brand that if you want to sell your business and continue to run it, come here," Charles Koch, CEO of the brothers' company, told The Journal.

Buffett is famous for buying stakes in solid blue-chip companies at reasonable prices and for buying entire corporations the same way.

Big companies often approach solely Buffett for deals, "because he was viewed as the only person who could write a hefty check [and] could do it very quickly," Steve Feilmeier, chief financial officer of Koch Industries, told The Journal.

"We've been actively talking to Wall Street about making sure there are at least two phone calls placed on those situations going forward, not just one." Koch also has its own corporate targets and is now acquiring minority stakes in firms rather than acquiring whole companies.

But Mark Gongloff of The Huffington Post noted that "the Koch brothers don't stand a chance of becoming Buffett."

It's the Kochs' political activism that stands in their way, he said, even though Charles Koch told The Journal that their politics don't hamper their business.

"The Kochs seem to live entirely in a political dimension, one that makes even some on Wall Street blanch," Gongloff added.

Editor’s Note: Put the World’s Top Financial Minds to Work for You

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