The so-called standstill agreement was disclosed today in a regulatory filing by Denver-based DaVita. Such accords are typically arranged by companies seeking to prevent an unsolicited takeover.
Berkshire held almost 15 million DaVita shares, a stake of about 14 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg based on a March filing. The stake is valued at more than $1.7 billion, based on DaVita’s closing price of $117.56 today.
Under the agreement, which applies when Berkshire’s stake is 15 percent or more, Buffett’s company will refrain from proposing “any business combination, merger, tender offer, exchange offer or similar transaction,” according to a document included in the filing.
The agreement was signed by DaVita President Javier Rodriguez and Ted Weschler, the former hedge fund manager hired by Buffett to help run Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire’s investment portfolio.
Buffett didn’t respond to a request for comment sent to an assistant. Skip Thurman, a spokesman for DaVita, didn’t respond to phone calls seeking comment
Peter Grauer, chairman of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, has served on DaVita’s board of directors since 1994.
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