The deal provides that Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire will pay $13 per share in cash for all of Johns Manville's shares. With nearly 148 million shares outstanding, that would value Johns Manville at about $1.92 billion. Johns Manville also carries about $300 million in debt. The merger agreement is subject to government and court approval.
Under the terms of the pact, Johns Manville would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway and continue to be headquartered in Denver. The announcement came a little more than a week after two other investment firms dropped their attempted buyout of Johns Manville.
Buffett said Johns Manville was a good match for his company. "We are pleased about the opportunity to own a company with such strong market positions, leadership and financial performance,'' he said.
Johns Manville, a 142-year-old company, had sales of $2.2 billion in 1999. It employs approximately 9,700 people and operates 55 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China.