Berkshire Hathaway is led by Warren Buffett, the nation's second-wealthiest man, and is a holding company that operates subsidiaries primarily in the insurance business.
Included in the group of subsidiaries that underwrite property and casualty insurance and reinsurance is GEICO, the third largest auto insurer in the United States and two of the largest reinsurers in the world, General Re and the Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group. Other subsidiaries that underwrite property and casualty insurance include National Indemnity Company, Medical Protective Company, Applied Underwriters, U.S. Liability Insurance Company, Central States Indemnity Company, Kansas Bankers Surety, Cypress Insurance Company, BoatU.S. and several other subsidiaries.
Besides insurance, Berkshire has stakes in various companies from the Buffalo News newspaper to Fruit of the Loom and candy and diamond companies.
In November 2014, the company announced it would acquire Duracell from Procter and Gamble for $4.7 billion.
Berkshire has the most expensive stock for sale on the New York Stock Exchange. The company's Class A stock is over $213,000 per share while the Class B stock is $149 per share as of January.
Warren Buffett announced he plans to give away most of his fortune in Berkshire Hathaway stock to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The donation could eventually be worth more than $30 billion.
Updated January 17, 2015