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America’s most successful investor is moving into manufactured housing. On April 2, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. announced an agreement to buy Clayton Homes, Inc., for $1.7 billion. The deal follows Berkshire Hathaway’s purchase late last year of Oakwood Homes Corporation out of Chapter 11. Both Clayton, based in Maryville, Tennessee, and Oakwood, located in Greensboro, North Carolina, make prefabricated homes. Berkshire will buy Clayton for $12.50 per share in cash, a 12 percent premium over the target’s April 1 closing price of $11.13. James Clayton, founder and chairman, and his family’s foundation together own 28 percent of the company’s stock, and they have agreed to vote for the deal. But Orbis Investment Management Limited � which owns about 5 percent of Clayton Homes � is challenging the sale. The Hamilton, Bermuda-based money manager claims that Clayton’s board breached its duty to shareholders by accepting Berkshire’s offer. At press time the deal was in flux. Clayton postponed a July 16 shareholder vote on the transaction and paid Berkshire $5 million in order to gain another two weeks to evaluate other bids. For acquiror Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Omaha) Munger, Tolles & Olson (Los Angeles): Corporate: Robert Denham, Mary Ann Todd, and associate Brett Rodda. Tax: David Goldman and Stephen Rose. Litigation: George Garvey. The firm was founded by Charles Munger, Warren Buffett’s longtime business partner. For target Clayton Homes, Inc. (Maryville, Tennessee) In-house: General counsel Thomas Hodges. Hunton & Williams (Richmond): Corporate: Allen Goolsby III and associate W. Lake Taylor, Jr. Real estate: Joseph Congleton and associate John Brock. (Congleton and Brock are in the firm’s Knoxville office.) Hunton provides securities law advice to Clayton. Richards, Layton & Finger (Wilmington): R. Franklin Balotti and associate Michael Allen. Goolsby brought in Richards for help on Delaware law issues.

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