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Berkshire bulks up in real estate with Store Capital stake
June 26, 2017 / 2:40 PM / 6 months ago

Berkshire bulks up in real estate with Store Capital stake

NEW YORK, June 26 (Reuters) - Berkshire Hathaway Inc has taken a nearly 10 percent stake in Store Capital Corp, a real estate company that invests in single-tenant properties, adding to bets in the sector by the conglomerate controlled by billionaire Warren Buffett.

Store said that Berkshire’s National Indemnity Co unit spent $377.1 million on 18.62 million shares at $20.25 each, giving it a 9.8 percent stake.

The investment was announced four days after Berkshire said it would invest up to C$400 million for a 38.4 percent equity stake in Canadian lender Home Capital Corp and provide a C$2 billion credit line.

“An investment in our company from one of history’s most admired investors represents a vote of confidence in our experienced leadership team,” Store Chief Executive Christopher Volk said in a statement. “Berkshire Hathaway’s investment solidly positions Store for continued growth, while adding measurably to our already strong financial position.”

Shares of Store rose more than $2, or 10 percent, to $22.86 in early trading.

Berkshire did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The investment makes it Store’s third-largest investor, after Vanguard Group and Fidelity.

Store is a Scottsdale, Arizona-based real estate investment trust whose portfolio includes more than 1,750 properties in 48 U.S. states.

Its specialties include sale-leaseback transactions, where owners sell properties and lease them back, freeing up sale proceeds to invest elsewhere.

Store plans to use proceeds from the offering to buy properties, repay debt and other purposes.

Berkshire’s other investments tied to real estate include HomeServices of America, the second-largest U.S. residential real estate brokerage, and Clayton Homes, which makes manufactured housing.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate has more than 90 units in the insurance, energy, railroad, retail and other sectors. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Jennifer Ablan and Meredith Mazzilli)

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