Billionaire Warren Buffett's company is about to become Bank of America’s largest investor, when it exercises rights to buy 700 million shares in the bank. The purchase will mean a big payoff, at least on paper, for Berkshire Hathaway's cash infusion to the bank six years ago.
Berkshire announced its plans Friday. The move comes as BofA prepares to boost its dividend, with approval from federal regulators.
Berkshire Hathaway invested $5 billion in BofA in 2011, to help shore up the bank’s capital reserves. In return, it got preferred shares and the right to buy common shares at a discount.
Bloomberg News reports that $5 billion investment is now worth about $17 billion.
Berkshire Hathaway says the higher dividend makes the share purchase a good idea.
Berkshire Hathaway is also a major shareholder in Wells Fargo, American Express and Goldman Sachs.