Berkshire Hathaway Joins Cable Frenzy; Buffett’s Firm Bought Shares in John Malone’s Liberty Global

Berkshire Hathaway Joins Cable Frenzy

Buffett’s Firm Bought Shares in John Malone’s Liberty Global

ANUPREETA DAS and GEOFFREY ROGOW

Updated Feb. 14, 2014 7:03 p.m. ET

Warren Buffett‘s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. BRKB +0.22% joined the investment frenzy around cable companies, disclosing on Friday that it scooped up shares in John Malone‘s international holding company Liberty Global LBTYA -0.61% PLC in the fourth quarter.

Berkshire also said it sold its stakes in Dish Network Corp. DISH -2.43% andGlaxoSmithKline GSK.LN +0.70% PLC in the period ending Dec. 31.

The disclosures were among many big positions disclosed on the quarterly date when investors who manage more than $100 million must report their holdings to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Berkshire’s position in Liberty was 2.95 million shares, valued at $263 million at the end of the fourth quarter. Liberty Global, a Europe-focused cable operator, is separate from Mr. Malone’s U.S. investment company, Liberty Media Corp. LMCA +1.39%

Berkshire cut its stake in the U.S. firm, Liberty Media, by about one million shares. It now owns about 4.5 million shares that were valued at $775 million at the end of the last quarter.

Mr. Buffett typically chooses investments of $1 billion or more, meaning the Liberty Global pick was likely the work of one of Berkshire’s two investment managers, Todd Combs andTed Weschler.

Berkshire had a U.S. stock portfolio of nearly $105 billion at the end of the year.

John Paulson also dove deeper into the cable fray. His firm, Paulson & Co., increased his investment in Time Warner TWX +1.08% Cable Inc. from $446 million to $810 million at the end of the fourth quarter. It isn’t clear that the billionaire’s firm still owns the shares, which surged after Comcast Corp. CMCSA +1.39% bought Time Warner on Wednesday for $45.2 billion.

Mr. Paulson, who has been one of the most bullish investors in gold, made no changes in his exposure to the precious metal in the fourth quarter, according to the firm’s filing. His firm stood pat on the size of its holdings in the gold exchange-traded fund SPDR Gold TrustGLD +1.32%

The Paulson firm reported total holdings of $20.3 billion in the latest filing, compared with $15.5 billion in the prior one.

Daniel Loeb‘s Third Point LLC picked up stakes in telecommunications firms T-Mobile USInc. TMUS +1.29% and BlackBerry Ltd. BB.T -3.52% The fund manager had previously written to investors that T-Mobile was priced at a discount to peer companies, but the BlackBerry position was a new disclosure. The positions were valued at $257 million and $74 million, respectively.

Mr. Loeb’s filing also said the firm acquired shares in rental-car firm Hertz Global HoldingsInc. HTZ +0.39% worth $172 million.

David Einhorn‘s Greenlight Capital Inc. disclosed a new $1 billion position in semiconductor maker Micron Technology Inc. MU +0.68% Mr. Einhorn had previously said he owned Micron shares without disclosing the amount.

Soros Fund Management LLC, founded by billionaire George Soros, took new positions in banks J.P. Morgan Chase JPM +0.21% & Co. and Citigroup Inc., C -0.68% valued at $166.1 million and $119 million, respectively. The Soros fund also trimmed its holdings ofHerbalife Ltd. HLF -0.76% , the nutritional-supplements company that has been the subject of a public war of words with hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman.

Overall in the fourth quarter, the value of Mr. Soros’s holdings rose to $11.8 billion, from $9.1 billion in the third quarter, according to the firm’s filing.

Mr. Soros’s fund, which returned cash to outside investors last year, invests money for Mr. Soros and his family.

Nelson Peltz‘s Trian Fund Management LP disclosed it added to its stakes in food and beverage firms Mondelez International Inc. MDLZ +0.32% and PepsiCo Inc., PEP -2.01%companies that have been in the activist investor’s crosshairs.

Trian also disclosed a slightly higher stake in jeweler Tiffany & Co. and reduced its holdings in nutritional-products retailer GNC Holdings Inc. GNC -14.64%

In other Berkshire news, the conglomerate substantially raised its stake in General ElectricCo. GE +1.18% and now owns about 10.5 million shares of the diversified industrial conglomerate, according to the filing. The Omaha, Neb., company modestly raised its position in Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM +2.93% after buying into the energy company in the third quarter and now owns about 41 million shares that were valued at just over $4 billion at the end of the fourth quarter.

 

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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