* Berkshire, DaVita enter standstill agreement
* Berkshire already owns 14.2 pct of dialysis company
* DaVita shares rise after disclosure
May 7 Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc
, the largest investor in DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc
, has entered an agreement allowing it to nearly double
its stake in the largest U.S. operator of dialysis clinics to 25
According to a regulatory filing, the companies on Tuesday
entered a "standstill" agreement, which is often used to prevent
unsolicited takeovers, indicating the maximum percentage of
shares that Berkshire can own.
DaVita shares rose $3.84, or 3.3 percent, to $121.40 in
after-hours trading after the agreement was disclosed.
Berkshire owned about 15 million DaVita shares, or 14.2
percent, as of March 4, according to another regulatory filing.
These shares were worth about $1.76 billion, based on
Tuesday's closing price of $117.56 for DaVita. That price gave
DaVita a market value of about $12.4 billion.
Buffett's company ended March with $49.1 billion of cash, of
which $12.1 billion is being used to help fund the pending
purchase of ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co
DaVita has long been a favorite investment of Ted Weschler,
one of two portfolio managers Buffett hired to run portions of
Berkshire's $95.9 billion portfolio of equities.
Buffett recently gave Weschler and the other portfolio
manager, Todd Combs, an additional $1 billion each to invest.
Within the last five years, Berkshire has held stakes
exceeding 20 percent in railroad operator Burlington Northern
Santa Fe Corp, which it later bought, and credit rating company
Moody's Corp, whose shares it has recently been selling.
Separately, Denver-based DaVita reported on Tuesday an
adjusted first-quarter operating profit excluding a legal
reserve of $196.9 million, or $1.84 per share. Analysts on
average expected $1.79 per share, according to Thomson Reuters
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York. Editing by Andre