Warren Buffett continues to see value in the retail energy sector, directing a subsidiary of his
to scoop up PacifiCorp for about $9.4 billion.
Berkshire's MidAmerican Energy will acquire the utility from Scottish Power for $5.3 billion in cash and $4.1 billion in assumed debt. PacifiCorp sells power in Oregon, Wyoming, Washington, California, Utah and Idaho.
"The energy sector has long interested us, and this is the right fit," Berkshire said in a release. "We are excited to be making this long-term investment, through MidAmerican, in the premier energy company in the West."
PacifiCorp generated about $914 million of operating income in the year to March 31, down more than 3% from a year earlier, as higher input costs and bad weather bit into profitability. Buffett often prefers companies where he believes short-term operating issues can be overcome.
Scottish Power announced last year it was conducting a strategic review for PacifiCorp, which it purchased six years ago for about $10 billion.