Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Buffett to Invest $5 Billion in Goldman

Berkshire's plan "is a sign of confidence from one of the nation's most respected investors," said James Angel, a finance professor at Georgetown University, who added that "sharp investors" now are "sniffing around the wreckage of the credit crunch to pick up good assets on the cheap."

The deal is structured in two parts, giving Berkshire a stream of cash and potential ownership of roughly 10% of Goldman. Berkshire will spend $5 billion on "perpetual" preferred shares of Goldman. These are not convertible into equity but pay a fat 10% dividend.

Berkshire also will get warrants granting it the right to buy $5 billion of Goldman common stock at $115 a share, which is 8% below the 4 p.m. closing share price Tuesday of $125.05. At Goldman's roughly $50 billion market value, based on that closing price, exercising those warrants would give Berkshire about a 10% stake in Goldman.

Goldman also will go to the public to raise at least a further $2.5 billion by selling common shares. Once it does, Berkshire's stake -- if it has exercised the warrants -- would fall to about 7%. Goldman will have the right to repurchase the preferred shares at any time for a 10% premium.

What can we learn from Buffett's deal, please read: Lollapalooza Investing

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