Berkshire to Acquire $560 Million Axalta Stake From Carlyle

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. agreed to buy $560 million of stock in Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. from affiliates of Carlyle Group LP as Warren Buffett’s company expands its bets on industrial companies.

Berkshire is buying 20 million shares for $28 apiece, compared with Monday’s closing price of $28.33, Philadelphia-based Axalta said in a statement Tuesday. Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire agreed to hold the stock for at least 90 days. Axalta climbed 9.8 percent to $31.11 at the close in New York.

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Axalta had jumped 45 percent through Monday since going public at $19.50 a share in November. Carlyle, the Washington-based private-equity firm, sold 50 million shares in the initial public offering and had more than tripled its money on paper at the time. Carlyle bought Axalta from DuPont Co. in February 2013 for $4.9 billion, investing $1.35 billion of equity. DuPont’s strategy was to focus on faster growing businesses such as agricultural chemicals.

“Berkshire is the type of quality investor that Axalta has been fortunate to attract since our IPO last year,” Axalta Chief Executive Officer Charlie Shaver said in the statement.

With $4.39 billion of revenue last year, Axalta is the world’s biggest supplier of coatings to auto-repair shops and the second-largest provider to manufacturers of cars and light trucks.

Buffett’s company owns Lubrizol, the maker of lubricants, and has a stake in Precision Castparts Corp., a manufacturer of aerospace components. Berkshire also owns Benjamin Moore, which sells paint for use in buildings.

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