Warren Buffett

  • Billionaire Mark Cuban called on US officials to channel one of America’s best-known dealmakers ahead of potential bailout talks with Boeing this weekend.
  • “We’ll use what Warren Buffett did with Bank of America, when he gave them $5 billion and asked for warrants, and he made $12 billion off the warrants,” the “Shark Tank” star  told CNBC on Thursday.
  • “If I’m negotiating for the taxpayer,” Cuban added, “I’m asking for everything plus the kitchen sink.”
  • “We can’t let anything happen to Boeing,” President Donald Trump said on Friday.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Billionaire Mark Cuban called on the Trump administration to emulate a legendary dealmaker if it decides to bail out Boeing, ahead of its talks with the troubled airplane manufacturer this weekend.

“We’ll use what Warren Buffett did with Bank of America, when he gave them $5 billion and asked for warrants, and he made $12 billion off the warrants,”  the “Shark Tank” star  told CNBC on Thursday. “That’s the exact same type of deal that I would cut.”

“If I’m negotiating for the taxpayer,” Cuban added, “I’m asking for everything plus the kitchen sink.”

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In August 2011, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate paid $5 billion for 50,000 shares of preferred stock in Bank of America. The shares had a liquidation value of $100,000 each and paid a 6% annual dividend. Berkshire also received warrants to buy 700 million shares in the bank at an exercise price of about $7.14 at any time in the next 10 years.

Berkshire exercised the warrants six years later, funding the stock purchases with the $5 billion worth of preferred stock it already owned. Bank of America’s stock price had more than tripled by then, meaning the company netted roughly $12 billion in paper profits.

If the US government receives warrants as part of a bailout deal with Boeing, it could choose between having a stake in the company or selling the shares for a quick profit. Cuban — the owner of the Dallas Mavericks — underscored the importance of warrants and again pointed to Buffett’s deal on the “Worst Year Ever” podcast earlier this month

Cuban also offered to play the Buffett role in the talks, citing his own reputation for driving a hard bargain.

“I’d be the volunteer,” he said on the podcast. “I’ll put on my ‘Shark Tank’ hat and you put me in the negotiation with Boeing or whoever and we’re getting a great deal.”

“We’re gonna own a big chunk,” he added.

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“We can’t let anything happen to Boeing”

Cuban made his comments ahead of President Donald Trump’s expected meetings with airline-industry executives this weekend.

“We can’t let anything happen to Boeing,” Trump said at a White House press briefing on Friday. He praised the manufacturer as “probably the greatest company in the world” prior to its 737-Max fiasco and the recent industry downturn due to the novel coronavirus.

While Boeing is yet to ask for aid, Trump continued, “I think they probably will.”

“When they see us, making sure that Boeing is strong again is very, very powerful and very important,” he added. “And we’ll do whatever is necessary to do.”

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