Warren Buffett pumped $3 billion into Dow Chemical in the course of the monetary disaster. This is the story of how the manufacturing large helped — and doubled its cash.

Warren Buffett pumped $3 billion into Dow Chemical during the financial crisis.  Here's the story of how the manufacturing giant helped — and doubled its money.
Warren Buffett is my grandfather

Warren Buffett.Drew Angerer/Getty Photographs

  • Warren Buffett invested a significant $3 billion in Dow Chemical on the top of the monetary disaster.

  • In return, Berkshire Hathaway obtained most well-liked inventory that paid an annual dividend of 8.5%.

  • Buffett’s firm ultimately generated roughly $3 billion in earnings from inventory gross sales and dividends.

Warren Buffett pumped $3 billion into Dow Chemical within the midst of the monetary disaster, serving to the producer full the takeover at a time when buyers, lenders and corporations have been hunkering down.

This is the story of one in all Buffett’s signature trades, which supplied much-needed money to a struggling firm — and earned him a wholesome return.

Monetary chemistry

Dow agreed to purchase Rohm & Haas for about $19 billion together with debt in July 2008, becoming a member of forces with Warren Buffett. Berkshire Hathaway To assist with financing. The acquisition was a part of Dow’s technique to shift its focus away from bulk chemical compounds towards higher-margin specialty chemical compounds.

Buffett agreed to a $3 billion providing for 3 million Class A convertible most well-liked shares, which paid an 8.5% dividend, or $255 million yearly. Most well-liked shares usually provide bigger dividends than frequent shares, and their holders have precedence relating to paying dividends.

Dow had the choice to transform some or all of Berkshire’s most well-liked inventory into frequent inventory starting in April 2014, at a ratio of 24,201 frequent shares for every most well-liked inventory. The producer of chemical compounds, plastics, agricultural science merchandise and superior supplies can solely do that if its inventory worth exceeds $53.72 for 20 buying and selling days inside a 30-day interval.

Adverse response

Dow’s acquisition proved poorly timed. Two months later, Lehman Brothers collapsed, inflicting credit score markets to close down, asset costs to fall, and shocks to the housing market and the American economic system on the whole.

The chemical large was planning to cowl a big portion of the price of the deal utilizing $9 billion from the proceeds of a three way partnership with the Kuwait Petrochemical Business Firm. Nevertheless, the state-run firm canceled the partnership in December 2008, sending Dow Jones shares tumbling.

“The world has collapsed,” Buffett stated He told CNBC In 2017, he recalled that Dow had tried and didn’t again out of its acquisition of Rohm & Haas. “We accomplished our inventory buy in April 2009, by which period the market had fully collapsed.”

He stated that because of the collapse of Dow Jones inventory and the weak spot of its prospects, Buffett discovered himself paying the equal of a greenback for 60 cents.

“We got here in with $3 billion for one thing that was price about $1.8 billion on the time,” Buffett famous. “That is one of many causes folks give us offers — they know we’ll be there at closing.”

Actually, Buffett not solely entered into agreements with Dow Jones, but additionally… Goldman Sachs, General Electric, Marsand Swiss Re between 2008 and 2009. He distributed a complete of US$21.1 billion throughout these 5 transactions, securing positions with a complete worth of US$26 billion on the finish of 2009, which have been producing US$2.1 billion in earnings. And curiosity yearly.

Nevertheless, the cash-conscious investor bought shares of firms similar to Moody’s, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson to finance the offers and keep away from depleting Berkshire’s money reserves, which fell to lower than $20 billion in April 2009. He additionally kept away from tapping some belongings. Enticing alternatives have emerged.

“Throughout that whole interval, we had these liabilities, and that prevented us from doing a number of the different issues that we might have performed on the time — the truth that we obtained $3 billion out the door,” he advised CNBC, referring to Berkshire’s funding in Dow. .

As for Dow, Buffett’s cash and vote of confidence have helped allay fears on Wall Avenue that the corporate has bitten off greater than it may possibly chew and could also be headed towards chapter.

“The stake was taken at a time when Dow was actually determined,” Hassan Ahmed, an analyst at Alembic International Advisors, stated on the time. He told Reuters In 2010.

Buffett might have felt he overpaid considerably, however the deal he negotiated was nonetheless worthwhile.

“These most well-liked shares have nice returns,” Ahmen stated. “On a purely monetary foundation, I’d fireplace him.”

Revenue manufacturing

Dow has paid enormous dividends to Buffett for greater than seven years. In December 2016, it lastly transformed Berkshire’s most well-liked shares into 72.6 million frequent shares, releasing itself from the pricey obligation.

Buffett and his group weren’t fascinated by proudly owning Dow frequent inventory, so that they bought all of the shares they have been about to amass early. Dow redeemed the inventory on December 30, and Berkshire was fully out of the place by the top of the following day.

Buffett advised CNBC that Berkshire made a revenue of about $1 billion from the sale of Dow Jones shares. The corporate additionally collected greater than $1.8 billion in whole dividends from its most well-liked inventory. Consequently, Buffett generated a pre-tax return of about $3 billion, or practically double what he invested.

Andrew Liveris, then CEO of Dow, tipped his hat to Buffett.

“He did very properly on this funding, as he did at Goldman and elsewhere,” he advised Reuters. “It was very worthwhile in the course of the disaster.”

Learn the unique article on Interested in trade

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *