This Is a Buffett Investment If I've Ever Seen Onehttp://www.fool.com/investing/general/2011/11/14/this-is-a-buffett-investment-if-ive-ever-seen-one.aspx Jason Moser
November 14, 2011
It's getting tougher and tougher to find solid investments. Thanks to a seemingly new global debt crisis every day, it feels like it's easier finding a needle in a haystack! But I do believe I've found an investment of which even Warren Buffett would approve, one that I believe will continue to clean up for some time to come.
What's so great about it anyway?
The leader of the pack: Ecolab has about 10% market share of a $57 billion global market and has nearly a three times advantage over its next largest competitor. As CEO Douglas Baker put it in a recent investor day conference: "Our ultimate advantage and the ultimate barrier to competition is our sales and service capabilities." That's not only an effect, but also a cause of its formidable scale.
More markets?: Ecolab is in the process of wrapping up its $5.4 billion acquisition of Nalco (NYSE: NLC ) , which will add considerable scale to its already large global presence. This acquisition will open up Ecolab to Nalco's 30% share of the $6 billion global water services market, as well as additional exposure to the paper and energy services -- representing an additional $2.5 billion market opportunity. If the company can integrate this acquisition nicely, it should open the floodgates for some additional top-line growth.
It cuts both ways: Just as the Nalco deal is a potential value creator, if it fails to go off without a hitch or if problems arise, there could be re