Berkshire Hathaway 2013 Annual Meeting Audience Question # 65

Will the board of directors consider splitting Berkshire’s A-shares?

Warren Buffett:

OK. Station 6.

Audience Member:

No question.

Warren Buffett:

No questions. I like station six.

Station 7.

Audience Member:

Mr. Buffett, Mr. Munger, thanks for everything that you do for us, including advice that you give us, and also for… as an individual investor… for the things that you’ve done for me.

I have a question. You’ve long been against stock splits, but as you think about the Berkshire A share and one day can… if you don’t split it… it can get to a million dollars, is the board thinking about how to deal with that, in terms of getting new stock owners, the ownership structure, and so on?

Warren Buffett:

Well, I… we actually… I think we’ve got a pretty good arrangement now.

It evolved, originally, through some people that were going to try and make a lot of money off of our shareholders by creating their own split shares, so we created the B shares.

And then when the BNSF acquisition came along, we wanted to be sure that people that wanted to have a stock-free exchange, or that wanted to get shares, would not prohibit it simply because they had a small amount of BNSF, and, therefore, our B shares were too expensive.

So I think now with one stock, you know, in the $100 range, people can split the… people that own the A stock can split their stock anytime they wish.

And we’ve always pledged that there won’t ever be this situation, but if there was some corporate transaction or anything like that, we will… the A and B will get treated identically.

And so I really see no reason to change the present situation.


Charlie Munger:

I would not hold your breath until we change.

Warren Buffett:

That may apply to almost anything in our lives.

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