Berkshire Hathaway Inc. of Omaha has purchased a 60 percent controlling interest in Marmon Holdings Inc., a private company with some plastics-related manufacturing assets.
The deal involves investors near the top of Forbes magazine's list of the wealthiest people in the world. Warren Buffett, a billionaire investor from Omaha, is chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway.
Marmon had been owned by trusts for the benefit of members of Chicago's Pritzker family, who developed the Hyatt Hotel chain.
The deal is scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2008. Berkshire will pay $4.5 billion for the initial stake in Marmon, and plans to acquire the remaining 40 percent during the next five to six years, according to a news release from the companies.
Brothers Jay and Robert Pritzker bought Marmon in 1953. Today the group includes more than 125 manufacturing and service businesses operating independently within diverse business sectors.
Marmon's plastics-related operations include fastener makers Nylok Corp. of Macomb, Mich., and Nylok Canada Inc. of Brampton, Ontario; as well as several units that make polymer-insulated wire and cable products.
Chicago-based Marmon employs about 21,000 at more than 250 manufacturing, distribution and service facilities, primarily in North America, the United Kingdom, Europe and China. Its annual sales total about $7 billion.
Publicly traded Berkshire Hathaway has more than 60 subsidiaries.