These subsidiary companies are engaged in a wide range of business activities. The main ones are primary insurance and reinsurance business.
Over the years it has acquired a myriad of subsidiaries engaged in diverse business operations like utilities and energy (MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company), manufacturing-service-retailing (Marmon group), wholesale distribution & logistics (McLane), jewelry (Ben Bridge Chain), carpets (Shaw Industries), bricks & boots (Justin Industries). The insurance (both primary and reinsurance) business is through more than sixty national and overseas enterprises.
Berkshire being primarily in insurance business in effect means that the premium for undertaking risk generates cash which is available for investment when the opportunity knocks. The reputation of Mr. Buffet has been built over the years is due to the fact that he has been consistent in picking winning opportunities by and large. This translates into the fact that almost of the business acquisitions turn out to be profit making ones, which in turn swell the coffers of Berkshire to be ready to invest.
Contrary to expectations and common belief, Berkshire does not invest by only trading in stock i.e., picking stock at low price and selling, but also by investing in the businesses and earning through their operations.
“For some sellers Berkshire is a refuge, a place to land when, say, some members of a family that controls a private company want cash and others wish to keep running the business. To the latter Buffett promises independence and respect and then--barring some irreconcilable problem that just has to be dealt with--delivers on the commitment. "We dont have any MBAs running around telling these people what to do," Buffett says. "And God knows I wouldnt know what to tell them." To public companies that may also have a family reason for selling, or that just want to escape the cold world of regrettable stock prices, unrealistic quarterly demands, and