Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. The company wholly owns GEICO, BNSF Railway, Lubrizol, Fruit of the Loom, Helzberg Diamonds, FlightSafety International, Pampered Chef, and NetJets, and also owns 26.7% of the Kraft Heinz Company, and significant minority holdings in American Express (17.0%), The Coca-Cola Company (9.4%), Wells Fargo (9.9%), IBM (6.9%) and Apple (2.5%). Since 2016, the company has acquired large holdings in the major US airline carriers and is currently the largest shareholder in United Airlines and Delta Air Lines and a top 3 shareholder in Southwest Airlines and American Airlines. Berkshire Hathaway has averaged an annual growth in book value of 19.0% to its shareholders since 1965 (compared to 9.7% from the S&P 500 with dividends included for the same period), while employing large amounts of capital, and minimal debt.
The company is known for its control and leadership by Warren Buffett, who is the company's Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer, and Charlie Munger, the company's Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors. In the early part of Buffett's career at Berkshire, he focused on long-term investments in publicly traded companies, but more recently he has more frequently bought whole companies. Berkshire now owns a diverse range of businesses including confectionery, retail, railroad, home furnishings, encyclopedias, manufacturers of vacuum cleaners, jewelry sales, newspaper publishing, manufacture and distribution of uniforms, and several regional electric and gas utilities.
According to the Forbes Global 2000 list and formula, Berkshire Hathaway is the fourth largest public company in the world, and the 9th largest conglomerate by revenue.
Berkshire is currently the 7th largest company in the S&P 500 Index by market capitalization and is famous for having the most expensive share price in the world with a Class A share costing more than $240,000 each, having never been split.