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Knauf’s USG Showdown Will Put Buffett to the Test

  • Berkshire faces decision on May investor vote about USG board
  • Rejected suitor seeks to send signal by opposing nominees
Updated on

Warren Buffett has typically shunned hostile tactics as he’s built Berkshire Hathaway Inc. into a sprawling conglomerate. His forbearance is about to be put to the test.

The question for Berkshire is whether to back a shareholder revolt at USG Corp., which has rejected an offer by Germany’s Knauf of $42 a share. The rejected suitor, which owns about 10 percent of USG, is calling for shareholders to vote against board nominees as a way to pressure the biggest U.S. maker of gypsum wallboard into accepting the $5.9 billion deal.