FRI, MAY 27, 2022
Tom Murphy, Buffett's friend and 'mental partner,' dies at 96
Tom Murphy, the Capital Cities Communications CEO who engineered its $3.5 billion acquisition of the much larger ABC in 1985 and then sold the resulting company to Walt Disney ten years later for $19 billion, died this week at the age of 96.
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway helped finance the 1985 deal by investing $517 million and acquiring an 18% stake in Capital Cities/ABC.
And he may have had something to do with the Disney deal, too. In his 1995 shareholder letter, he described how he was present for a "chance encounter" between Murphy and then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner at which the two men "indicated they might bend" on a key disagreement that had previously stood in the way of a deal. "Within a few weeks, they both did, at which point a contract was put together in three very busy days."
Busy, and profitable for Buffett. Berkshire received cash and Disney stock worth around $2.5 billion in exchange for what was then a 13% stake in Cap Cities/ABC.
In February, when Murphy resigned from Berkshire Hathaway's board after serving on it for almost 20 years, Warren Buffett said in a news release that they had been "friends and mental partners for more than 50 years" and Murphy had taught him "more about running a business than any other person."
In a statement this week, Buffett said over the years "I watched him inspire very imperfect humans -- myself certainly included. Motivated by Tom, some became better parents, others more generous, and some were encouraged to lead in a kinder way."
Buffett said Murphy led by example, "and it was very effective, whether you were a pauper or a prince. He didn't distinguish between the two."
Squawk Box Video: Remembering Tom Murphy (May 26)
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BERKSHIRE'S TOP U.S. STOCK HOLDINGS - May 27, 2022
Berkshire's top holdings of disclosed publicly-traded U.S. stocks by market value, based on today's closing prices.
Holdings are as of March 31, 2022 as reported in Berkshire Hathaway’s 13F filing on May 16, 2022, except for Apple, Bank of America, and U.S. Bancorp, which also include shares held as of Mar 31, 2022 as disclosed in New England Asset Management’s 13F filing on May 14, 2022, and except for Occidental Petroleum, which is as of May 12, 2022.
In addition to U.S. stocks, shares held as of December 31, 2021 of China's BYD, as listed in Buffett's 2021 letter to shareholders, are included. The price of those shares in U.S. trading is used to approximate the current market value of the position. The value of the stake as a percentage of the company's market value is fixed at what was listed as of December 31, 2021 in the letter.
The full list of holdings and current market values is available from CNBC.com's Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio Tracker.
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-- Alex Crippen, Editor, Warren Buffett Watch