MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, recently announced that it has agreed to purchase 225 million shares, representing approximately a 10 percent stake, in the Chinese company BYD Company Limited. This investment is valued at 1.8 billion Hong Kong dollars, or approximately 230 million U.S. dollars. BYD’s actitivies include researching, developing, manufacturing, and selling rechargeable batteries, automobiles, and electric automobiles. BYD was founded in 1995 and has 130,000 employees worldwide.
"We are thrilled to be partners with BYD and the people of China. Mr. Wang Chuanfu has an extraordinary managerial record, and we welcome the opportunity to work with him," said Warren E. Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
"MidAmerican is pleased to make an investment in BYD – a high-caliber organization, committed to making a dramatic environmental impact with their products," said David Sokol, chair of MidAmerican. "As worldwide discussions relating to global climate change and environmental respect continue, the technologies being developed by BYD will be an integral part of the future."
"We are extremely pleased and grateful that Berkshire Hathaway and MidAmerican will be our long-term investor and partner, as we bring our electric vehicles and other environmental protection measures to the global space," said Mr. Wang Chuanfu, chairman of BYD Company Limited.
According to Bloomberg, Mr. Sokol will join the BYD board as a non-executive director. Bloomberg also reported that Sokol stated at a press briefing today that the two companies will work together on developing batteries to store energy from wind and solar power generation. BYD has also previously stated that it plans to sell hybrid cars in the US by 2010.
For more information:
- BYD Company Limited – Home page
- MidAmerican and Berkshire Hathaway Announce Investment in BYD Company Limited (September 29, 2008)
- Buffett’s MidAmerican Appoints Sokol to BYD Board (Update2) (Bloomberg, September 29, 2008)