Top Berkshire Hathaway executive David Sokol resigned unexpectedly this week. When Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett announced the resignation, he also disclosed a series of stock trades in Lubrizol that Sokol made before recommending to Buffett that Berkshire buy the specialty chemical company. A short time later Berkshire announced a $9 billion deal to buy Lubrizol.
Here is a timeline of those stock trades and the Lubrizol deal based on statements Buffett and Sokol made and on documents Lubrizol filed with regulators:
_ Sokol says he became interested in Lubrizol sometime last fall and started researching it as a possible investment, primarily for his personal portfolio.
_ Dec. 13: Sokol met with investment bankers from Citigroup to discuss investment ideas, including Lubrizol. Sokol says he asked one of those bankers to set up a meeting with Lubrizol's CEO but didn't say Berkshire was interested in buying Lubrizol.
_ Dec. 14: Sokol says he tried to buy 50,000 Lubrizol shares but could only buy 2,300 at the price he wanted, so he sold those a week later.
_ Dec. 17: Lubrizol says the Citi investment banker told the company Sokol wanted to meet Lubrizol CEO James Hambrick and Berkshire might be interested in the company.
_ Jan. 5-7: Sokol bought 96,060 Lubrizol shares as part of a 100,000-share order he had placed with a $104-per-share limit price.
_ Jan. 12: Citi banker called Sokol to schedule a call with Hambrick.
_ Jan. 14: Sokol talked with Hambrick on the phone about Lubrizol. And Sokol told Buffett Lubrizol was willing to talk about being acquired by Berkshire.
_ Jan. 25: Sokol and Lubrizol met for dinner in Cleveland to discuss whether the companies would be a good fit. Buffett said he remained skeptical about acquiring Lubrizol until after that dinner conversation.
_ Jan. 27: Sokol helped arrange a meeting between Hambrick and Buffett.
_ Feb. 8: Buffett met with Hambrick in Omaha and offered to buy all of Lubrizol's outstanding stock for $135 cash per share.
_ Feb. 9-March 13: Lubrizol and Berkshire negotiated the details of the deal.
_ March 14: Berkshire announced plans to acquire Lubrizol for $135 a share if regulators and shareholders approve.
_ March 19: Sokol disclosed the details about when he bought his Lubrizol stock after Berkshire's chief financial officer inquired.
_ March 30: Buffett announced Sokol's resignation and disclosed his Lubrizol stock purchases.