Tags: Buffett | Burlington | Northern | Deal

Buffett’s Burlington Northern Deal to Be Subject of U.S. Hearing

Thursday, 16 Feb 2012 01:44 PM

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s 2010 acquisition of Burlington Northern Santa Fe will be the subject of a hearing on railroad shippers’ complaints that they’re being asked to cover the deal’s costs.

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board today said it will look at whether Berkshire, controlled by billionaire Warren Buffett, should be allowed to include the deal’s $8.1 billion acquisition premium over book value in the railroad’s regulatory cost base. The hearing will take place March 22 in Washington.

The Western Coal Traffic League charges that Fort Worth, Texas-based Burlington Northern is trying to make its customers cover Berkshire’s acquisition costs through their rates, and make it more difficult for them to challenge rates with the U.S. board. The group represents coal-fired electric plants west of the Mississippi River.

The group urged the Washington-based railroad regulator to examine the matter in May 2011.


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