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Berkshire Hathaway to invest $10b in Occidental Petroleum for Anadarko takeover

By AFP - Apr 30,2019 - Last updated at Apr 30,2019

Traders work on the floor by the post that trades Anadarko Petroleum and Occidental Petroleum at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, US, on Tuesday (Reuters photo)

NEW YORK — American mega-investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway will invest $10 billion in Occidental Petroleum as the company battles to acquire rival Anadarko Petroleum, Occidental announced on Tuesday. Anadarko’s board had already approved an offer from Chevron when Occidental unveiled a higher bid last week, beginning a tug-of-war over the assets in the shale-rich Permian Basin in Texas.

“We have long believed that Occidental is uniquely positioned to generate compelling value from Anadarko’s highly complementary asset portfolio,” Vicki Hollub, Occidental’s president and chief executive, said in a statement.

“We are thrilled to have Berkshire Hathaway’s financial support of this exciting opportunity.”

Occidental’s proposed takeover valued Anadarko at $76 a share, compared to the $65 offered by Chevron on April 12. Occidental said it was disappointed that Anadarko had ignored its previous bids.

Anadarko on Monday agreed to resume talks with Occidental, after the board of directors declared that the rival offer “could reasonably be expected to result in a ‘Superior Proposal’” to Chevron’s offer.

Berkshire Hathaway is to receive $10 billion in Occidental shares, with the option to buy 80 million more at $62.50 a share, according to the Occidental statement.

But Chevron said on Tuesday it stood by its initial offer.

“We believe our signed agreement with Anadarko provides the best value and the most certainty to Anadarko’s shareholders,” a Chevron spokesman said.

But the company indicated last week it could walk away from the deal if bidding drove the price up too high.

“We can practically say Chevron will get out of the race,” Gregori Volokhine of Meeshaert Financial Services told AFP.

“It’s not that it’s hard to fight Warren Buffett but this maneuver will give Anadarko a lot of confidence to accept the offer” from Occidental, he added.

Shares in Anadarko were 0.5 per cent lower toward 15:00 GMT while Occidental had fallen an even steeper 1.7 per cent. Chevron was up 3.1 per cent.

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