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5 Most M&A Crazy Companies Since the Financial Crisis

Stocks in this article: BRK.B JNJ UTX HPQ PEP MRK PFE GR BA GE GS BAC

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Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B)

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), General Electric (GE) and Bank of America (BAC) 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.

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