Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway will become one of Goldman Sachs' largest stockholders in the latest reward for its emergency aid to the bank at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.
Berkshire could receive more than nine million shares of the storied investment bank under an amended warrants agreement announced by Goldman on Tuesday.
The deal will make Berkshire one of Goldman's top 10 shareholders, and the Buffett-led investment group won't have to pay anything for the shares.
"We are pleased the Berkshire Hathaway intends to remain a long-term investor in Goldman Sachs," said Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein in a statement.
The announcement said the two sides had modified their September 2008 deal which saw Berkshire helping Goldman get through the financial crisis.
Under the original agreement, Berkshire invested $5 billion in preferred Goldman shares that carried a dividend of 10 percent. Goldman also granted Berkshire warrants to purchase $5 billion of common stock at $115 per share.
In March 2011, Goldman bought back the preferred shares for $5.5 billion, giving Berkshire a return of $500 million on top of the dividends received, but leaving it with the warrants, which expire on October 1.
The warrants would have granted Berkshire 43.5 million Goldman shares, but cost it $5 billion in cash -- though, with Goldman shares trading over $145, Berkshire could have registered an immediate large paper gain.
In the amended agreement -- aimed at avoiding the massive dilution of shares Goldman of the original deal -- Goldman will issue to Berkshire a number of shares based on the profit Berkshire could have reaped from the difference of the exercise price and the average market value of the shares over the 10 days to the exercise date.
Calculated based on today's price, that would give Berkshire 9.26 million shares in Goldman, a no-cost stake worth roughly $1.35 billion.
"We intend to hold a significant investment in Goldman Sachs, a firm that I did my first transaction with more than 50 years ago," Buffett said in the release.
It suggested Buffett plans to hold the shares, rather than cashing out. In midday trade Goldman shares were off 0.1 percent at $145.96, while Berkshire's more widely traded B shares gained 0.9 percent to $103.33.