Berkshire Hathaway Inc. on Monday said it will buy the roughly 20 percent it does not own of Pasadena’s Wesco Financial Corp., in a cash-and-stock deal worth more than $547 million.
Omaha, Neb.-based conglomerate Berkshire more than 30 years ago acquired its nearly 80 percent stake in Wesco, which was run by longtime associate and Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger. Wesco in September established a review committee of three independent directors after Berkshire’s founder Warren Buffett submitted a bid to acquire the remaining shares of Wesco, which has businesses in insurance, furniture rental and steel services.
The cash-and-stock deal will give each Wesco shareholder $386.55 per share, either in cash or Berkshire Class B common stock. The final price could change based on gains or losses in Wesco's investment portfolio, the amount of time it takes to complete the deal and other factors, the companies said.
If approved by a majority of the outstanding Wesco shares not owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the deal is expected to close before the end of the second quarter. Berkshire, which is worth about $200 billion, operates about 80 businesses and has investments in many others.
Wesco said that if the merger is completed prior to early June, in lieu of an annual meeting the 87-year-old Munger plans to hold an “Afternoon with Charlie” in Pasadena “to give Berkshire Hathaway and former Wesco shareholders a chance to ask him questions about business, economics and life.”
Wesco shares closed up $6.71, or 1.7 percent, to $387.38 on the New York Stock Exchange.
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