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Warren Buffett's 'most gruesome mistake' was buying Dexter Shoe. Here's the story of his $9 billion error.

Warren Buffett's 'most gruesome mistake' was buying Dexter Shoe. Here's the story of his $9 billion error.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty



Warren Buffett's "most gruesome mistake" was buying Dexter Shoe in 1993, a Maine shoemaker that soon collapsed under pressure from cheap foreign imports.




The famed investor paid for Dexter with 25,203 Class A shares in Berkshire Hathaway, worth about $8.7 billion today.




"I gave away 1.6% of a wonderful business ... to buy a worthless business," Buffett said in his 2007 letter to shareholders.




"As a financial disaster, this one deserves a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records," he wrote in his 2015 letter.




View Business Insider's homepage for more stories.



Warren Buffett's "most gruesome mistake" was buying Dexter Shoe in 1993. The Maine shoemaker quickly became worthless; the Berkshire Hathaway shares he swapped for it are worth about $8.7 billion today.
The so-called Oracle of Omaha acquired Dexter for 25,203 Class A shares, worth $433 million at the time.
"Dexter, I can assure you, needs no fixing: It is one of the best-managed companies Charlie and I have seen in our business lifetimes," Buffett said in his 1993 letter to shareholders. Dexter was a "business jewel," he gushed, adding that it was a "sound decision" to pay for it with Berkshire stock.
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