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Berkshire Buying Business Wire

The Oracle of Omaha strikes in press release land.
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Berkshire Hathaway

(BRK.A) - Get Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class A Report

agreed to acquire closely held press release distributor Business Wire.

Terms weren't disclosed, but San Francisco-based Business Wire said its management team will remain in place and the company's day-to-day operations won't be affected. Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire, the vehicle of billionaire value investor Warren Buffett, said it expects to close the deal in the first quarter.

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"In making this acquisition of Business Wire, we have followed our blueprint of buying profitable companies that are industry leaders, yet have significant growth potential," said Buffett. "A major criteria in all our investment decisions is evaluating corporate management. Business Wire's experienced management team was key to our decision.

"We quickly realized that Business Wire was a gem of a company," Buffett added. "I expect Business Wire to continue to do what it has always done and I'll be there if I can help in any way."

Business Wire Chairman Lorry I. Lokey, who founded the company in 1961, will remain in his post but will dedicate himself to his philanthropic pursuits. The company said it is poised to take advantage of impending shifts in corporate transparency and disclosure requirements. It has set up numerous regulatory disclosure networks in Europe in preparation for the European Union's Transparency Obligations Directive, which will take effect in January 2007. The TOD mandates harmonized, pan-European disclosure standards for publicly traded companies in all 25 member states.

On Tuesday, Berkshire shares fell $500 to $89,100.