>>One would hope that Dairy Queen, See's, etc. are profitable in regards to return on assets and other measures but growth is not crucial in the way that it would be for a publicly-traded company. There is no stock price for See's.<<
I guess... But if all of the subsidiaries' growth rates are lackluster, that will affect the earnings of BRK -- which is turn will affect the p/e investors are willing to pay for its earnings. BRK has a high multiple because historically it grows its earnings at high rates - WEB can't keep buying slow growers and expect to get a high growth rate multiple forever.