Will Buffett buy Cliffs Resources?

Through Berkshire Hathaway, billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s acquisitions have included Burlington Northern Santa Fe for $26 billion in 2009 and Lubrzol Corp. for $9 billion just this month.

Now Buffett is looking for more big companies to buy with $38 billion in Berkshire Hathaway mad money, according to a Reuters story this week. Buffet serves as chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a conglomerate holding company that manages numerous subsidiary companies.

“In Berkshire’s annual report, Buffett said he is on the lookout for possible acquisitions — making references to going big-game hunting with an elephant gun,” the story said.

By the end off the year, that Berkshire Hathaway cash cache will grow to more than $50 billion, Reuters said.

So what does this have to do with Cliffs Natural Resources?

Cliffs made a list of companies, compiled by Reuters, that met Buffett’s usual criteria for acquisition:

—It’s a growth industry.

—It’s an industry leader with a strong balance sheet.

—It has a history of profitability.

—It has little debt.

—It’s available on the cheap.

Other companies that made the list include Rolls-Royce Group, ITW, Eaton and AkzoNobel. One informed source quoted in the story believes a Buffett acquisition bigger than Burlington Northern is coming this year.

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