Yesterday morning, as Bank of America continued "reaping the benefits of what Countrywide hath sowed," Jim Cramer proposed an idea: get a billionaire to vouch for you. Just as Warren Buffett investing in Goldman Sachs had been a signal that everything was cool with the Masters of the Universe and Prince Alwaleed and his horses' unflagging love 'o Citi have at times kept the bank afloat, BofA, Cramer proposed, should get someone to send a message that all is good in the hood. JC suggested Carlos Slim was the guy to take one for the team, while we liked the idea of, among others, Bruce Wayne, Lynn Tilton or Warren Buffett, who enjoys spreading the love. Apparently WB is our man.
Bank of America Corporation announced today that it reached an agreement to sell 50,000 shares of Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock with a liquidation value of $100,000 per share to Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. in a private offering. The preferred stock has a dividend of 6 percent per annum, payable in equal quarterly installments, and is redeemable by the company at any time at a 5 percent premium.
In conjunction with this agreement, Berkshire Hathaway will also receive warrants to purchase 700,000,000 shares of Bank of America common stock at an exercise price of $7.142857 per share. The warrants may be exercised in whole or in part at any time, and from time to time, during the 10-year period following the closing date of the transaction. The aggregate purchase price to be received by Bank of America for the preferred stock and warrants is $5 billion in cash.
"We are building the best franchise in financial services and we have laid out a clear plan to deliver long-term shareholder value," said Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan. "I remain confident that we have the capital and liquidity we need to run our business. At the same time, I also recognize that a large investment by Warren Buffett is a strong endorsement in our vision and our strategy."
"Bank of America is a strong, well-led company, and I called Brian to tell him I wanted to invest in it," said Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Warren Buffett. "I am impressed with the profit-generating abilities of this franchise, and that they are acting aggressively to put their challenges behind them. Bank of America is focused on their customers and on serving them well. That's what customers want, and that's the company's strategy."