Berkshire Discloses $1 Billion Price Tag for GE Railroad Assets

  • Buffett's Marmon unit picks up 25,000 tank cars in the deal
  • BNSF, Berkshire's railroad, sees profit rise on fuel-cost drop

Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the company controlled by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, said the price for the railroad assets it agreed to buy from General Electric Co. in September was about $1 billion.

Marmon Holdings, a unit of Buffett’s company, acquired about 25,000 tank cars and other equipment from GE in the deal, according to a filing issued Friday by Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire. While the transaction had been announced earlier, the price wasn’t disclosed. BNSF, one of the largest U.S. railroads, is also owned by Berkshire.

Wells Fargo & Co., the world’s largest bank by market value, agreed to buy the bulk of a railcar- and locomotive-leasing unit from GE in September as the industrial giant retreats from financial services. The Berkshire and Wells Fargo deals dismantle what was General Electric Railcar Services LLC, a $4 billion-asset business that leases freight and tank cars and offers loans and maintenance services.

Berkshire announced Friday that BNSF contributed $1.16 billion to third-quarter earnings, compared with $1.04 billion a year earlier, as fuel costs fell and freight revenue climbed from agricultural products. Berkshire’s profit in the period doubled to a record $9.43 billion on a one-time investment gain in Kraft Heinz Co.

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