Berkshire buys nearly 10 pct stake in Axalta for $560M

AP News
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Posted: Apr 07, 2015 11:00 AM

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. will pay $560 million for a nearly 10 percent stake in Axalta Coating Systems, which has seen its stock rise more than 36 percent since it went public last fall.

Axalta makes high performance coating systems for use on vehicles and in industrial markets.

Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. said Tuesday that Berkshire will pay $28 each to buy 20 million shares of Axalta from the private equity firm The Carlyle Group, which will still hold a 45 percent stake in the Philadelphia company after the sale. Berkshire's price is a slight discount to the stock's closing price of $28.33 on Monday.

Axalta won't receive proceeds from the sale.

Berkshire owns companies in several industries including utilities and energy, freight rail transportation and insurance. It agreed not to dispose of Axalta's shares for 90 days after the sale is completed, and Axalta will provide Berkshire with certain registration rights after that 90-day window.

Carlyle Group took Axalta public last November with an initial public offering of 50 million shares. Its stock closed at $20.75 on its first trading day.

Axalta shares rose $1.87, or 6.6 percent, to $30.20 in morning trading. Its shares are little changed over the past year.