BUSINESS

Buffett's Goldman Deal Is No Charity

Oct 25, 2008 | Updated May 25, 2011

Still, Mr. Buffett is not taking big risks based on the structure of the investment.

Berkshire Hathaway will receive perpetual preferred shares in Goldman, which will pay a 10 annual percent dividend, or $500 million a year. Those dividends take precedence over other payments to common shareholders. Goldman has the right to buy back the shares at any time for a premium of 10 percent.

In addition, Berkshire Hathaway will receive warrants to buy $5 billion in common stock at a strike price of $115 a share, which can be used at any time in a five-year period. Those warrants are already in the money: Goldman shares closed Tuesday at $125.05, up $4.27, and rose to $134.75 in after-hours trading after Mr. Buffett's investment was announced.