AUDIENCE MEMBER 00:09
I’m Elizabeth Cruz (PH) from New York City. I have a question about Gillette.
Another significant Gillette investor, KKR, recently sold over a billion dollars in Gillette shares, shares that they had acquired through Gillette’s acquisition of Duracell.
Knowing that KKR has also been a successful investor, do you see this as a negative signal about Gillette’s future prospects, particularly on the eve of the launch of the Mach 3 razor? And what do you think their plans are for the remainder of their shares?
WARREN BUFFETT 00:43
Well, I think they may have even publicly stated — I’m pretty sure they have — the Duracell shares from which the Gillette shares came were held by a specific investment fund that was formed in, I don’t know what year, but a given year, and which is scheduled to disband at a certain point.
So those shares, whether they were of Duracell or whether they’re of Gillette, were scheduled for disposition at some point within a given term. And I think that KKR made the decision — and they’ve made it with other stocks, too — is to have maybe three or so offerings between now and that terminal date for their partnership. And why they pick any one of — any given date, you know, is up to them and their advisors.
It means nothing to us. I mean, if they didn’t have that kind of a fund and they decided to sell, it wouldn’t make any difference to them [us]. And I presume if we made a decision to sell, it wouldn’t make any difference in their case.
So we, you know, we form our ideas of valuation independent of anybody else’s thinking on it. But in the case of KKR, specifically, they have a termination date on a partnership that owned those shares, and have to dispose of them one way or another between now and the termination date, and probably decided that with the quantity of stock they had, that they were going to have several sales.
The Mach 3 is terrific, incidentally. I’ve been using it since October. So Henry did not decide to sell that stock based on the Mach 3. (Laughter)
Area 3, please.
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