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Burlington Northern Officially Joins the Warren Buffett Family

Friday, 12 Feb 2010 | 2:54 PM ET

Warren Buffett's $26 billion "bet on America" is now official.

Berkshire Hathaway has just issued a news releaseannouncing the "closing of the merger of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation ('BNSF') with and into a subsidiary of Berkshire."

As a subsidiary, Burlington shares will no longer be publicly traded.

BNSF shareholders approved Berkshire's acquisition of the railroad at a special meeting held yesterday (Thursday.)

Burlington Northern shareholders were given the choice of being paid for their shares in cash, Berkshire stock, or a combination of the two.

Final results of those elections:

Cash40.85%
Stock43.36%
No Election 15.79%

The release says BNSF shareholders choosing cash or failing to make an election will get $100/share cash. Those choosing stock will get 92.25% of their $100/share in Berkshire stock and the remainder in cash.

In total, Berkshire will pay about $15.87 billion in cash and issue approximately 80,932 shares of Class A stock, along with approximately 21 million shares of Class B.

Next stop for the Berkshire Bs will be their addition to the widely followed benchmark S&P 500 stock index, replacing Burlington Northern.

That happens after tonight's closing bell at 4p ET, giving the many investors in S&P index funds a piece of Warren Buffett and Berkshire.

Current Berkshire stock prices:

Class A:

Class B:

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Email comments to buffettwatch@cnbc.com

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