Warren Buffett’s Berkshire returns to yen market with new bond

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire returns to yen market with new bond

By Finbarr Flynn and Issei Hazama

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. kicked off marketing of a multi-tranche yen bond deal on Monday, several months after announcing investments in Japan’s biggest trading companies.

The conglomerate is offering yen notes for a third straight year, after selling 430 billion yen ($3.89 billion) of the securities in its inaugural deal in 2019. That was one of the largest-ever debt offerings by a foreign issuer in yen.

Berkshire Hathaway said in August that it had acquired stakes of about 5% in Itochu Corp., Marubeni Corp., Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui & Co. and Sumitomo Corp. Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway, didn’t make any significant investment in 2020, but the company bought up its own stock and is sitting on $138 billion of cash.

The company said last year that it planned to hold its Japanese trading house investments for the long term and that it could increase its holding in any of the five to as much as 9.9%.

Berkshire Hathaway priced 195.5 billion yen of bonds in 2020, and has yen-denominated notes maturing as early as 2023.

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