News

Shell saves $600m on gas deal with Repsol

Royal Dutch Shell has saved $600m (£362m) on a deal to buy rival Repsol’s liquefied natural gas assets in Trinidad, Peru and Spain. The supermajor had agreed to buy the portfolio for $4.4bn last February, but will now only be spending $3.8bn on Repsol’s LNG work outside of North America.

Buffett's big day marred by spat with former aide

Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting is normally a celebration of investment success, but this year was a little different

Buffett's fan club demands answers

Warren Buffett faces his investors in Omaha today. Stephen Foley reports

David Prosser: Buffett dropped a clanger when he backed Sokol so publicly

Outlook A month ago tomorrow, Warren Buffett, chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway and the world's most famous investor, issued a tersely worded statement. Mr Buffett announced the resignation of one of his most trusted lieutenants, David Sokol, as well as disclosing that Mr Sokol had owned shares in Lubrizol, a company he had recommended to his boss as a takeover candidate for Berkshire Hathaway – a tip that was acted upon. The resignation and the shareholding were unconnected, Mr Buffett said, insisting Mr Sokol had done nothing unlawful and adding that he would not utter another word on the topic.

Buffett deals out stinging attack on former acolyte

Warren Buffett, the billionaire investment guru, sent a thunderous message to his chief lieutenants last night: deceive me and bring my company into disrepute and I will fire you, humiliate you and perhaps even pursue you in the courts.

The Business On... Charlie Munger, Vice-chairman, Berkshire Hathaway

Warren Buffett's sidekick?

Warren Buffett and his search for a new superstar

The resignation of one of Warren Buffett's senior lieutenants has thrown open the race to succeed him, says Stephen Foley

Sokol defends share buys while working for Buffett

David Sokol, the man who had been expected to succeed Warren Buffett as head of Berkshire Hathaway, insisted that he did nothing illegal or unethical by buying shares in a chemicals company before recommending that the billionaire investor make a takeover bid.

David Prosser: Buffett has plenty more explaining to do

Outlook For a man renowned for his plain speaking and his dislike of corporate misbehaviour, the statement made by Warren Buffett on the resignation of his lieutenant Dave Sokol is remarkably opaque. The most disappointing paragraph of all in the three-page release issued by Berkshire Hathaway after the markets closed on Wednesday evening was the penultimate one. Mr Buffet said that since he had not held anything back, anyone asking about the Sokol affair in future would simply be referred back to the release.

Buffett's successor quits amid $3m share scandal

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway was last night plunged into a succession crisis, after the billionaire's assumed successor quit in a share-trading scandal.

Business Diary: Lloyds group bags former UKIP man

Lloyds Action Now, the pressure group that wants compensation for shareholders who have lost out due to the bank's takeover of HBOS, got a few headlines yesterday with its announcement of test cases against the Bank of England and the Treasury. But the Diary thought Adrian Lithgow, the group's spokesman, looked familiar. We were right: he is the same Adrian Lithgow who was forced to resign as head of communications for the UK Independence Party four years ago after pleading guilty to racially aggravated harassment and threatening behaviour. Lithgow got into a row with railway staff at Victoria Station in London, with a Yugoslavian member of staff suffering some particularly unpleasant abuse.

Buffett bags Lubrizol chemicals firm for $9bn

Just two weeks after telling his shareholders he had "reloaded" his "elephant gun" and was on the hunt for acquisitions, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway bagged one of the biggest takeovers in its history – a $9bn (£6bn) purchase of the industrial lubricants giant Lubrizol.

80-year-old Ecclestone eyes another decade

Red Bull and the ever-cheeky Sebastian Vettel presented Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone with a walking frame, equipped with steering wheel and front wing, as an 80th birthday gift last weekend.

Buffett anoints successor to manage his billions

Warren Buffett, who heads the beloved American conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, has named an obscure 39-year-old hedge fund manager to oversee much of the company's money, making him the favourite to succeed the billionaire investment guru. For the past five years, Todd Combs has run a Connecticut hedge fund called Castle Point Capital, which withstood the financial crisis, despite investing almost solely in financial companies.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there