Monday, April 09, 2007

Deal news

The big news going into the weekend was the announcement that Berkshire Hathaway had taken a 10.9 percent stake in railway company, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.

Now CNBC reports that Berkshire has made two additional, smaller, investments in railroad companies. So far Berkshire and its chairman, Warren Buffett are keeping mum on the specifics of those investments.

Berkshire's foray into the railway sector is being analyzed closely. According to an SEC filing, Berkshire is now Burlington Northern's largest shareholder.

In a Friday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Berkshire said it owned 39,027,430 Burlington Northern shares, making it the company's largest shareholder. The market value of the shares was $3.23 billion as of April 5.

In other deal news, Reuters is reporting on the movement in Dow Chemical shares after a UK paper suggested that a consortium of Middle Eastern investors and a US private equity firm were preparing a $50 billion bid for the company.

So far, analysts seem to be saying that the buyout deal is unlikely to happen, although a deal or joint venture in some segment of Dow's business empire is very possible.