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Billionaire Warren Buffett buys NV Energy

Staff reports

NV Energy announced today it was being purchased by a company owned in part by Warren Buffett.

MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and NV Energy, Inc. announced that they have reached a definitive acquisition agreement whereby MidAmerican will acquire NV Energy, an energy holding company serving approximately 1.3 million electric and natural gas customers in Nevada.

Under the terms of the agreement, MidAmerican will purchase all outstanding shares of NV Energy’s common stock for $23.75 per share in cash. The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by both companies’ boards of directors, has an enterprise value of approximately $10 billion. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of the transaction by NV Energy’s shareholders and the receipt of required state and federal approvals. The transaction is currently expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014.

“This partnership combines the strengths of two companies that share a common goal of serving our customers well through operational excellence and enhancing value for the communities we serve,” said MidAmerican Chairman, President and CEO Greg Abel. “Part of what attracted MidAmerican to NV Energy is its solid commitment to the state of Nevada and its performance as a high-quality energy business that has a strong focus on customer satisfaction, safety, environmental stewardship, and employee commitment.” Abel added, “The benefits we bring to NV Energy are the resources and strength of a global energy partner that lends stability, expertise, and access to competitively priced capital to support NV Energy’s strategic focus. We are very excited about the strategic direction of Michael Yackira and his team; it is an excellent fit with our business model and customer focus.”

NV Energy President and CEO Michael Yackira agreed, saying that the merger will allow the company to gain additional resourceds.

“Importantly, we will have the opportunity to combine MidAmerican’s expertise in renewable energy with Nevada’s vast renewable resources for the benefit of our customers and our state. While we will have new owners, NV Energy will remain a Nevada company, committed to the communities we serve, and our customers will continue to receive the safe and reliable service they have come to expect from our dedicated team of employees. This transaction will deliver important additional, long-term benefits to our customers and communities, as well as significant value to our shareholders.”

Sen. Harry Reid issued his congratulations to parties involved in the transaction.

“I’ve spoken to Warren Buffett, Michael Yackira and Phil Satre and it is not often I have been as enthused about a deal as I am now. I am elated. It is really good news for Nevada that Warren Buffett wants to invest $5.5 billion in our state. He told me that he loves Nevada and now has an excuse to come here more often.”

NV Energy will operate as a separate corporate subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. under its current name and will continue to be headquartered in Las Vegas.

“This is a great fit for Berkshire Hathaway, and we are pleased to make a long-term investment in Nevada’s economy,” said Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. “Through MidAmerican, we have found in NV Energy a great company with similar values, outstanding assets, and a superb management team.”

Upon completion of this transaction, MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company will have assets of approximately $66 billion and its regulated electric and gas utilities will serve 8.4 million customers.

“I am pleased to be working with NV Energy’s dedicated employees and great management team,” said Abel. “We look forward to supporting them in executing their business plans, including their focus on expanding renewable resources and providing new technology for the benefit of their customers.”

For NV Energy, Lazard Ltd. served as financial advisor and Sidley Austin LLP, Hogan Lovells and Reno-based Woodburn and Wedge served as legal advisors.


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