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Buffett Doesn’t Plan To Take Over Occidental

Berkshire Hathaway doesn’t plan, for now, to bid for a controlling stake in Occidental Petroleum, as Warren Buffett hasn’t informed the oil giant of any such plans despite gaining approval to buy up to 50% in the company, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources close to the situation.

Since the legendary investor doesn’t like hostile takeovers, a bid for control of OXY now would be totally out of character, the Journal notes.  

U.S. regulators approved on Friday Berkshire Hathaway to purchase up to 50% of the common stock in Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: OXY). The regulatory filing submitted by FERC on Friday shows that Berkshire Hathaway (BHE) currently owns an 18.72% stake in Occidental as of July 22. It had requested approval to purchase up to 50% of the common stick in secondary market transactions.  

The FERC ruled on Friday that Berkshire “demonstrated that the Proposed Transaction does not materially increase concentration in the MISO market and that the Taft Facility comprises 0.48% of the approximately 187,000 MW of installed capacity in the unconcentrated MISO market.”

Buffett’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway started buying shares in Oxy earlier this year, and by early May, it already had 15.2%. As a holder of over 10% in a public company, Berkshire Hathaway now has to report new ownership shares within two business days.

Buffett has also praised OXY’s performance and the job CEO Vicki Hollub has been doing in recent years.

At Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting earlier this year, Buffett said, referring to the Occidental investment, that he saw a lot of sense in the oil company’s latest presentation.

“And what [CEO] Vicki Hollub was saying made nothing but sense. And I decided that it was a good place to put Berkshire’s money,” Buffett said.

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“She says she doesn’t know the price of oil next year. Nobody does. But we decided it made sense. And two weeks later, we had 14% of the company,” the Omaha investor added.  

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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