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Mario Gabelli On Why He Likes Berkshire Hathaway

Mario Gabelli, chairman and CEO of GAMCO Investors, joins “Squawk Box” to discuss why he’s owned shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) for more than 30 years.

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Mario Gabelli On Why He’s Owned Shares Of Berkshire Hathaway

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Investors are still waiting for Warren Buffett to name a successor and find a way to boost Berkshire’s lagging stock.

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Transcript

Now we turn to an investor who has owned shares of Berkshire Hathaway for more than 30 years. Mario Gabelli is here. He's GAMCO Investors chairman and CEO, and Mario you've been coming here for how many years.

I don't know let's call it a quarter of a century not that long. Yeah probably. You know we sponsor a dinner tonight for Columbia Business School. We pay for it. And so it's you know value investing Mecca.

Right. And this is where you come instead of Churchill Downs which you own stock you own Churchill downs but that's because we like live entertainment.

We like the notion of dealing with beyond saying that ecosystem in other words streaming music we like the venti we like. Companies like that we're buying. Even today Sony even though there's in their pocket because of the shutdown in Tokyo for a handover. So looking at those areas baseball basketball. Atlanta Braves everyone watching today Becky should buy some Atlanta Braves they can own a piece of a baseball team. Stocks 28 60 million shares and Malone is going to sell it.

You know live entertainment is great. I understand your thinking on that but baseball in particular has struggled. There was just an article about how attendance is down another 4 percent this year and that's up against a year when they were going against rough weather last year everybody thought that was why. What's wrong. What happens.

Well I can't tell you anything about the park. I mean you know you're talking about one quarter of the season they're probably telling me that the Yankees have a marvelous bench. And you know the Atlanta Braves are not doing as well. But I'm not too concerned about that the answer is pass for professional and amateur sports betting we'll put a little extra juice in it. What happens is that just like in Tiger Woods you were watching the last two holes people were putting bets on that and they could do it in real time. And that's going to keep people watching television longer. That's going to be great for advertising it's going to be great for broadcasters. So it is a terrific opportunity. Like today Sinclair which didn't buy Tribune because of their own self some issues that they had regional sports network. So sports works so best baseball is watching it. They're going to get a piece of of the betting and we think you'll do 30 40 percent up and then you watch.

That's interesting. It's not about putting seats and putting people in these seats here. It's about who's watching on television and what you can do with those revenue streams report.

But I'd like to give product that have good content on the other side of coin. You know you have players like the Phillies hired some chap that makes X dollars per year. I might go into one of these games because we're excited about it. Yeah. So that's kind of what we're doing in that regard.

Other than that when you look around what do you think of the deal environment. I mean there have been some deals that have been popping up. We even see Berkshire Hathaway getting involved in the Occidental side and that bid for Anadarko. What do you see. Because you are the expert when we come down.

Well you know Warren's got a big pool of capital. He's got to you know puts some boxing to a deal as a standby. I don't know if that deal is going to go through but assuming it goes through he makes a nice return on his investment. Someone is going to say wow you didn't do a Green Deal but he's going to do green deals. So what Warren. You know when you look at Berkshire the three hundred ten thousand dollars a share you're talking about one point six million shares and they've got 10 percent of their holdings in one stock. It's apple. That's almost 250 million shares at the at the price that it's selling at. Two hundred dollars is 50 billion dollars. That is a nice investment. So you know when I say How about golf we need a new Tiger Woods Well we got Tiger Woods back again. So where do we put the money in over the next five years we've got seven and a half billion people. Four and a half billion smartphones. What are they going to watch. Who's going to deliver it. A one point four billion cars vehicles in the world. How are the Chinese going to do. We've got an air pocket right now. What's going to happen when you go to electric. What's going to happen to hybrids. Infrastructure. Infrastructure. Build a bridge fell in Tennessee a bridge fell in Genoa Italy. How do we allow this to happen and the deterioration and where do we get the money. We gotta come up with it.

Although both sides of the aisle have been talking about infrastructure bills for forever and the devil is always in the details. Where devil in some politics. Yeah well that's true. But what happens. I mean you would think that this would be the easiest decision that both sides could get behind spending money on infrastructure. And yet for years we've been talking about it and nothing has materialized.

Well from my point of view how do you pay for it. It's not a gasoline tax anymore. You also have to have a vehicle tax because electrics don't use gas. So as a result of that some kind of a vehicle tax there's ways to do it. If I can figure it out and I spent five seconds thinking about it we know the money could come. The question is is the will to do it. I was at a function yesterday. It took six years to get what it was an obvious deal done through the city of New York and in other parts of the world like China you'd get it done in three days. So we have to eliminate the bureaucracy of the US not only whether we funded but how do we get it done quickly so it's officially done.