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Warren Buffett Buys Into Naperville-Based Nalco

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Billionaire investor Warren Buffett's company bought 8.7 million shares of Nalco Holding Co. last year.

The investment in the Naperville-based water treatment and processing equipment and services company was worth $100.8 million as of Dec. 31. The purchase was disclosed as part of documents that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The documents provided a snapshot of the Berkshire's holdings at the end of 2008.

Among the most obvious changes was the shedding of about 33.1 million shares of Johnson & Johnson as Berkshire reshuffled parts of its $69.89 billion portfolio.

Buffett also sold about 9 percent, or about 9.5 million shares, of consumer products giant Procter & Gamble Co. Berkshire still holds at least 96.3 million shares of the Cincinnati company.

Berkshire also sold its entire stake in Anheuser-Busch Cos. The St. Louis-based brewer was bought by Belgium's InBev in November. Berkshire Hathaway held 13.7 million shares of the brewer on Sept. 30.

Berkshire officials do not typically comment on the company's stock investments beyond what they are legally required to disclose, and spokeswoman Carrie Kizer said no one was immediately available to discuss the filing Tuesday.

During the quarter, Berkshire bought nearly 19.9 million shares of Constellation Energy Group Inc., an electric utility operator based in Baltimore during the period, and added to its stake in Princeton, N.J.-based electric utility NRG Energy Inc., bringing that holding up to 7.2 million shares.

Buffett also upped the company's holdings in railroad operator Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. to 70.1 million, from 63.8 million on Sept. 30.

The filing does not differentiate between investments Berkshire makes, investments any of its more than 60 subsidiaries make, or investments Buffett himself makes as chairman and chief executive.

Berkshire subsidiaries include insurance, clothing, furniture, candy companies, restaurants, natural gas and corporate jet firms. Berkshire also has major investments in American Express Co., Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola Co. and Wells Fargo & Co.

Berkshire Class A shares, which closed at $84,000 Tuesday, off $4,140, or 4.7 percent, have traded in the past 52 weeks at $74,100 to $147,000. Berkshire Class B shares, which gained $90.03 Tuesday to close at $2,769.99, have ranged from $2,147 to $4,858 in the past 52 weeks.