posted by GeoT
“An Investemnt in the Future of America”
Geo T Note: This is a play on railroads becoming the “green” mode of commercial transport, supplanting trucking. The near future will see new track laid and faster more efficient shipping methods developed…
Nov. 3 (Bloomberg) — Berkshire Hathaway Inc. agreed to buy railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. in the company’s biggest takeover under Warren Buffett.Buffett’s firm will buy the 77.4 percent of the railroad it doesn’t already own for $100 a share in cash and stock, valuing the transaction at about $44 billion, including $10 billion in outstanding debt, Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire said in a statement today distributed by Business Wire. That compares with the railroad’s closing price yesterday of $76.07.
“It’s an all-in wager on the economic future of the United States,” Buffett said in the statement.
Berkshire has been building a stake in the Fort Worth, Texas-based railroad for more than two years as Buffett looked for what he called an “elephant”-sized acquisition in which he could deploy his company’s cash hoard, valued at more than $24 billion as of the end of June. Trains stand to become more competitive against trucks with fuel prices high, he has said.
“As oil prices go up, higher diesel fuel raises costs for rails, but it raises costs for its competitors, truckers, roughly by a factor of four,” Buffett told shareholders in 2007 at his company’s annual meeting. “There could be a lot more business there than there was in the past.”