Berkshire Hathaway to Buy $4.5 Billion Stake in Marmon Holdings

Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the Omaha, Neb.-based 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, including the Niles, Ill.-based work glove manufacturer Wells Lamont Group and the Hanover Township, Pa.-based lighting manufacturer Koehler-Bright Star Inc. In all, the Marmon companies operate in nine sectors including wire and cable, transportation services, and industrial products. The group's collective revenues total about $7 billion.

Berkshire Hathaway said it will acquire the remaining 40 percent of the group 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.

Headquartered in Chicago, 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. For more information, visit http://www.marmon.com/NewsReleases.html.

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