Buffett's Berkshire buys nearly 11% in Phillips 66 for $4.48 bn

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc has invested $4.48 billion to acquire 57.98 million shares or roughly 10.8 per cent stake in oil refiner Phillips 66, hoping to gain from current low prices of oil company stocks.

Berkshire is reinvesting in the Houston-based company, after divesting nearly two-thirds of its stake in February 2014 by swapping $1.35 billion shares for a chemicals business acquired by its Lubrizol unit.

Berkshire revealed the acquisition of roughly 10.8 per cent in Phillips 66 in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Phillips 66's share price has dropped by less than 1 per cent while crude oil prices have fallen by more than half. The company's shares closed at $77.23 on Friday.

Berkshire once held a large stake in the Houston-based company, but shed nearly two-thirds of it in February 2014 when it swapped $1.35 billion of shares for a chemicals business that it folded into its Lubrizol unit.

Crude oil prices have since fallen by more than half, though Phillips 66's share price has dropped by less than 1 percent.

Phillips 66 spokesman Dennis Nuss on Saturday said the Houston-based company does not comment on specific shareholders.
 
Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire is believed to have started rebuilding its Phillips 66 stake in the second quarter, when it bought $3.09 billion of equities overall.

However, it did not mention Phillips 66 in a 14 August SEC filing detailing its US stock holdings, after having previously reported a 7.5 million-share stake as of 31 March, but said it disclosed some information confidentially to the regulator.

Obama had done this in 2013, when Berkshire acquired a $3.45 billion stake in Exxon Mobil Corp. Buffett sold that stake in last year's fourth quarter.

Berkshire ended June owning $117.7 billion of equities and owns over 80 businesses. On 10 August, the company said it would buy Precision Castparts Corp, which makes parts for the aerospace and energy industries, for roughly $32.3 billion.