Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) (BRKb.N) would be "stark raving mad" not to pursue another giant acquisition, the vice chairman of Warren Buffett's company said on Friday, but it is difficult to do so now as low interest rates push up takeover prices.
In an interview with Reuters on the eve of Berkshire's annual shareholder meeting, Vice Chairman Charlie Munger said the company has over the years made many of its most desirable purchases in periods of "great catastrophes," but little appears on the horizon now.
"With interest rates at zero, the prices being paid for businesses are very high," he said.
Munger said Berkshire would welcome another purchase on the scope of its roughly $26.5 billion takeover of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp in 2009.
"Everybody would like it," he said. "But just because you like it doesn't mean that the world will necessarily give it to you. You'd be stark raving mad if you were running Berkshire and didn't want another Burlington Northern. But how many Burlington Northerns have we done in 50 years?"
Berkshire's annual shareholder meeting in Omaha draws more than 35,000 people to the city. Buffett calls the meeting and the weekend's related events "Woodstock for Capitalists."