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Berkshire Hathaway, the investment vehicle of Warren Buffett, has bought another batch of shares in Occidental Petroleum, pushing its total stake to 23.1 percent.
Citing a regulatory filing, Reuters reported the investment company had bought 7.9 million shares in Occidental, paying $466.68 million for them.
Earlier this month, Berkshire again bought Oxy stock, at around 5.8 million shares, for which it paid $350 million. After that sale, the total amount of shares Berkshire held in Occidental stood at 200.2 million shares worth around $12.2 billion.
With the new purchase, Berkshire’s total holding in Occidental has risen to almost 201 million shares worth some $11.4 billion based on yesterday’s closing price of the oil company. Oil company shares are generally down this week driven by a slump in oil prices sparked by fears of a banking industry shakeup.
Berkshire Hathaway has been buying stock in Occidental for more than a year now, raising its stake from below 14% to over 20%. The purchases sparked speculation that the investment firm may be planning to take over the oil company, especially after it received regulatory approval to buy up to 50 % of Occidental last year.
Three years ago, Berkshire Hathaway funded Oxy’s takeover of Anadarko with $10 billion in the form of equity. It was as part of this deal that the investment firm received the stock purchase warrants that could see it acquire 20% or more in Occidental.
Oxy bought Anadarko for $55 billion in 2019, making it one of the biggest M&A deals in energy over the past few years. In that, it outbid Chevron, which had earlier announced a bid for the energy company.
To date, as part of the funding deal, Berkshire Hathaway holds $10 billion worth of Oxy preferred stock and warrants for another 83.9 million shares.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.