bought 2.1 million shares of
in recent days, lifting its stake in the big energy company to just over 25%, according to a filing late Wednesday.
Berkshire Hathaway (ticker: BRK.A, BRK.B) now owns 224.1 million shares of Occidental Petroleum (OXY), a position worth about $12.9 billion based on the closing price Wednesday.
Occidental shares gained 0.6% in the session to $57.46. Berkshire now owns 25.1% of Occidental.
Berkshire paid an average of just over $57 a share for the latest purchases. Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett has steadily added to his company’s stake in Occidental this year but said at the Berkshire annual meeting in May that he does not seek control of the company. Buffett said then that he thinks very highly of Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub, who is pursuing one of the most ambitious and innovative carbon capture strategies in the energy industry. Barron’s recently named Hollub to its list of top CEOs of 2023.
The filing also states that Occidental recently redeemed about $160 million of the 8% preferred stock held by Berkshire, paying a 10% premium. Berkshire now owns about $9.2 billion of the preferred. Occidental has paid off $800 million of that preferred issue this year. Occidental is eager to pay off the expensive preferred that it issued to Berkshire in 2019.
In addition to the Occidental common stock and preferred, Berkshire owns nearly 84 million warrants to buy the energy company’s common stock at just below $60 a share.
Buffett likes to pay less than $60 a share for Occidental common stock and the drop in oil prices has enabled him to accumulate more stock at what he views as attractive prices. Occidental traded around $75 earlier this year when oil prices were higher.
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