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It won't surprise many that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has been active in the takeover arena. Berkshire made investments in
Goldman Sachs(GS - Get Report),
General Electric(GE - Get Report) and
Bank of America(BAC - Get Report) as they faced crisis -- and announced a $10.7 billion holding of
IBM(IBM) on Monday.
Berkshire Hathaway has been the biggest investor buying $48.4 billion worth of companies over $250 million in size since the crisis erupted in September 2008, according to Bloomberg data. Its biggest purchase, railroad
Burlington Northern Santa Fe, has added over $15 billion in sales to Berkshire's overall revenue of $136.2 billion and is, as of 2010, the most profitable wholly owned company within the investments behemoth.
Berkshire's also made big acquisitions in a chemicals company
Lubrizol for $ 9 billion and in an aircraft lease company
Wesco Financial. Not all Buffett bids have been so clean. In December 2008,
Constellation Energy(CEG) cancelled a $9 billion Berkshire buyout in favor of a deal with
Electricite de France. After that deal fell through, Constellation was later bought by
Exelon(EXC) for $7.9 billion in April of this year, however the deal has come under regulatory scrutiny and isn't complete. This fall, re-insurer
Transatlantic Re also rebuffed a $3.25 billion bid by Berkshire.
Overall, deal making propelled Berkshire to record one of its best years in profits and revenue in 2010, however shares are down nearly 6% year-to-date and are well below pre-crisis highs.