US judge confirms Berkshire Hathaway unit’s 643 million euro award against German pipemaker

A U.S. judge on Wednesday confirmed a 643 million euro (US$734 million) award in favor of a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc that claimed it was fraudulently induced to buy a German pipemaker that had inflated sales to look profitable.

FILE PHOTO: Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett seen at the annual Berkshire shareholder shopping day in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S., May 3, 2019.

NEW YORK: A U.S. judge on Wednesday confirmed a 643 million euro (US$734 million) award in favor of a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc that claimed it was fraudulently induced to buy a German pipemaker that had inflated sales to look profitable.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Liman in Manhattan said the arbitration panel employed “sound” reasoning and did not exceed its power in ruling against Schulz Holding GmbH, whose U.S. and German businesses were purchased by Berkshire’s Precision Castparts for 800 million euros (US$913 million) in 2017.

Lawyers for Schulz and Precision did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Buffett’s assistant did not immediately respond to similar requests.

Precision Castparts accused Schulz of using fake invoices and backdated orders to inflate revenue and profit, when the Krefeld, Germany-based company had actually been teetering near bankruptcy. It also said the acquired businesses were worth no more than 157 million euros.

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