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Buffett's Shopping Spree Goes Global

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "Our elephant gun has been reloaded, and my trigger finger is itchy": Warren Buffett (2011 Berkshire Hathaway letter to shareholders).

With names including Lubrizol and Wesco Financial now decorating the Berkshire Hathaway trophy room, it has clearly been an active year for Warren Buffett in terms of acquisitions. The billionaire has indicated, however, that it is not quite time to hang up the elephant gun.

Speaking with Bloomberg, the famed investor explained that he would be open to spending $10 billion if an attractive acquisition target presents itself. This remark comes just days after the learning that, in the third quarter, the investor put nearly $24 billion to work -- his largest cash expenditure in more than a decade. This shopping spree included a staggering $10 billion investment in International Business Machines (IBM - Get Report).

Given the size of his wealth, his investing track record, and his charisma, it is no wonder that analysts, market commentators, and fans spend a great deal of time trying to determine where next the investor will take aim.
Warren Buffett

Unfortunately, as the unveiling of his uncharacteristic IBM investment taught us last week, this task is often a difficult one. Adding to this confusion, the investor has also hinted that the next Berkshire buy could be located anywhere around the globe.

This is not a new development for Buffett. Although he has built the lion's share of his wealth through his investments in U.S.-based firms, at this time the legendary Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A - Get Report) portfolio also boasts exposure to international names from a wide variety of market sectors and geographic regions.

Foreign holdings include Chinese car and battery maker, BYD; South Korean steel producer, Posco (PKX - Get Report); France-based pharmaceuticals firm Sanofi (SNY - Get Report); U.K. retailer Tesco; and German-based reinsurance company Munich Re.

Over the course of the past few years he has made trips to both developed and emerging nations to search for attractive targets.

Most recently, the Oracle of Omaha was in Japan. This visit was initially scheduled for March. However, the natural disasters that struck the nation during the opening months of 2011 forced him to postpone the trip.

Given the investor's long term investing timeframe, it is understandable that the Japanese earthquake and tsunami has done little to discourage Buffett from considering the nation as the potential home for his next big acquisition.
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