Warren E Buffett, 2005 Essay

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UV0016 Version 2.5 WARREN E. BUFFETT, 2005 On May 24, 2005, Warren E. Buffett, the chairperson and chief executive officer (CEO) of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., announced that MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, would acquire the electric utility PacifiCorp. In Buffett’s largest deal since 1998, and the second largest of his entire career, MidAmerican would purchase PacifiCorp from its parent, Scottish Power plc, for $5.1 billion in cash and $4.3 billion in liabilities and preferred stock. “The energy sector has long interested us, and this is the right fit,” Buffett said. At the announcement, Berkshire Hathaway’s Class A shares closed up 2.4% for the day, for a gain in market value of $2.55…show more content…
What were Buffett’s probable motives in the acquisition? What did Buffett’s offer say about his valuation of PacifiCorp, and how would it compare with valuations for other regulated utilities? Would Berkshire’s acquisition of PacifiCorp prove to be a success? How would Buffett define success? Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Berkshire Hathaway was incorporated in 1889 as Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing, and eventually grew to become one of New England’s biggest textile producers, accounting for 25% of the United States’ cotton textile production. In 1955, Berkshire merged with Hathaway Manufacturing and began a secular decline due to inflation, technological change, and intensifying competition from foreign competitors. In 1965, Buffett and some partners acquired control of Berkshire Hathaway, believing that its financial decline could be reversed. Over the next 20 years, it became apparent that large capital investments would be required to remain competitive and that even then the financial returns would be mediocre. Fortunately, the textile group generated Berkshire Hathaway "Class A" vs. S&P 500 Composite Index enough cash in the initial $100,000 years to permit the firm to purchase two Berkshire Hathaway Inc. "A" insurance companies $10,000 headquartered in Omaha: National Indemnity Company and National $1,000 Fire & Marine Insurance S&P 500 Composite Index Company. Acquisitions of other
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