Rumors have been circulating that Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate headed by legendary investor Warren Buffett, is seeking to take over Occidental Petroleum. However, Buffett himself has dismissed these speculations, stating that his company is not looking to buy control of the oil producer.
At this year’s Berkshire annual meeting, Buffett made it clear that the rumors were unfounded. “There’s speculation about us buying control, we’re not going to buy control,” he said. “We wouldn’t know what to do with it.”
Despite this, Berkshire Hathaway has already purchased a significant stake in Occidental, after receiving regulatory approval to buy as much as 50% of the company. While Buffett has ruled out seeking control of the company, he has hinted that his company may add to their current 23.5% stake in the future.
In addition, Berkshire holds warrants that are exercisable for 83.9 million common shares for $5 billion. These warrants give the company the option to purchase more shares at a later date, potentially increasing their stake in Occidental even further.
“We may or may not own more in the future but we certainly have warrants on what we got on the original deal on a very substantial amount of stock around $59 a share, and warrants last a long time, and I’m glad we have them,” Buffett explained.
It’s worth noting that Buffett has a history of making strategic investments in companies without necessarily seeking control. His approach is to invest in strong companies with a long-term outlook, and then let their management teams run the business.
This seems to be the case with Occidental Petroleum. While Berkshire Hathaway has a significant stake in the company, they are not looking to take over or interfere with the management team’s decisions. Instead, they are content to hold on to their shares and potentially increase their stake in the future.
© 2023 David Mazor
Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.