Berkshire’s Oncor Deal Feeds Buffett’s Energy Appetites

Berkshire Hathaway arrived at a deal to purchase one of the country’s largest power-transmission companies, making electricity one of the conglomerate’s biggest businesses. This according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal.

The bankrupt Energy Futures Holding Corp. will be acquired by Berkshire Hathaway in a deal valued at $18 billion ($9 billion of which will be cash), the article says, and will include the Texas-based company Oncor. The acquisition will further enhance Buffett’s energy holdings and ambitions, the article says, adding that Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE) contributed about 9.5% of Berkshire’s total earnings of $24.07 billion last year.

Oncor is an electricity mover, the article explains, transmitting power over 121,000 miles of lines across Texas. The acquisition will be Berkshire’s largest since the $32 billion purchase of Precision Castparts Corp. in 2016. Buffett, the article says, has “lauded his utilities businesses as investments that require routine reinvestment but also generate consistent returns.”

The article also recalls Buffett’s comment in his 2014 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders: “We will continue to buy and build utility operations throughout the world for decades to come.”