On CNBC, DealBook’s Andrew Ross Sorkin offered a really good explanation of what may be the most damning or suspicious aspect of David Sokol’s resignation from Berkshire Hathaway, and his trading in Lubrizol.
Forgot for a moment the fact that Sokol owned shares of the company when Buffett decided to buy Lubrizol for $9 billion.
Instead, focus on this.
Mr. Sokol’s interest in Lubrizol began after Citigroup bankers presented a list of “possible transactions” to him last fall, according to an SEC filing released Friday by Lubrizol. On Dec. 13, Mr. Sokol and the bankers met to discuss the list, and he expressed interest in Lubrizol, according to the filing.
Mr. Sokol asked Citigroup to relay to Lubrizol CEO James Hambrick his interest in meeting to discuss Berkshire and Lubrizol.
Mr. Sokol made his first personal purchase of Lubrizol shares the next day, buying 2,300 shares, according to Wednesday’s statement. He sold the shares a week later, it said.
Sorkin’s point is that this could be a “misappropriation” issue. Sokol was meeting with Citi on behalf of Berkshire, but apparently used the meeting to both buy stock for himself and then also begin negotiations with Hambrick.
Hopefully we’ll learn more from Sokol when he appears on TV at 7:40.