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WSJ: Warren Buffett not expected to fight for control of Occidental Oil

Warren Buffett’s bid to further increase his sizable stake in Occidental Petroleum Corp. is not expected to be a prelude to the closely watched billionaire’s full takeover of the revival energy company, At least for now.

In Friday’s regulatory filing, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway BRK.B, -2.30% BRK.A, -2.24% Obtained the purchase of up to 50% of the licensed driller’s shares. The news sparked speculation that Berkshire may be preparing to acquire OXY, +9.88%.

Analysts said, Occidental’s oil business will complement Berkshire’s existing energy assets, including utilities, natural gas and renewables. Buffett has a rapport with CEO Vicki Hollub and has publicly praised her efforts to turn the company around after acquiring Anadarko Petroleum Corp., as well as her plans to pay down debt and increase its dividend.

But Buffett has not informed Occidental about any plans to buy a controlling stake in the company, according to people familiar with the matter. Given Buffett’s well-known aversion to hostile deals, it would be inappropriate for him to bid without first snooping on company executives and directors.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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