I'll see your ketchup maker and raise you a power company.
MidAmerican Energy, the energy subsidiary of Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (Fortune 500), announced plans Wednesday to buy , NV Energy (, which provides electricity and natural gas to roughly 1.3 million customers in Nevada. )
MidAmerican has agreed to acquire NV Energy for roughly $5.6 billion in cash, or $23.75 a share, a 23% premium to Wednesday's closing price of 19.28. Including debt, the deal is worth roughly $10 billion.
"This is a great fit for Berkshire Hathaway, and we are pleased to make a long-term investment in Nevada's economy," Buffett said in a statement. "Through MidAmerican, we have found in NV Energy a great company with similar values, outstanding assets, and a superb management team."
Nevada was hammered by the housing crisis, with plunging home prices, rampant foreclosures and unemployment that eventually soared above 14%. The state appears on the mend, with home prices in Las Vegas rising 20.6% in the first quarter versus a year prior, but the current unemployment rate of 9.6% remains the worst in the country.
NV Energy will operate as a subsidiary of MidAmerican, retaining its current name and headquarters in Las Vegas. The companies expect to close the deal in the first quarter of 2014.
Berkshire owns a wide variety of companies, including fast-food chain Dairy Queen, insurer GEICO and the railroad company Burlington Northern Santa Fe. Earlier this year, Berkshire was part of a consortium along with private equity firm 3G Capital that purchased ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co for $28 billion.
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