Re: Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. (BNI)

Admin 03.11.2009
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. agreed to buy railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. in the company’s biggest takeover.

Buffett’s firm will pay $26 billion, or $100 a share in cash and stock, for the 77.4 percent of the railroad it doesn’t already own. Including his previous investment and the assumption of debt, the value of the deal is about $44 billion, Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire said in a statement today. That compares with the railroad’s closing price yesterday of $76.07.

“It’s an all-in wager on the economic future of the United States,” Buffett said in the statement.

Berkshire has been building a stake in the Fort Worth, Texas-based railroad for more than two years as Buffett looked for what he called an “elephant”-sized acquisition in which he could deploy his company’s cash hoard, valued at more than $24 billion as of the end of June. Trains stand to become more competitive against trucks with fuel prices high, he has said.

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