> Warren Buffett Blog

Monday, August 13, 2018

Warren Buffett now owns more than $50 billion worth of Apple shares

A regulatory filing recently filed showed that Berkshire Hathaway has now owns nearly $50 billion as of June 30, 2018. Berkshire Hathaway owned approximately 246.5 million shares at the time, or 5.1% of the company's outstanding shares. This represents the single biggest stake of a Berkshire owned company.

Buffett's stake certainly received a boost recently as Apple became the first US company to top $1 trillion in market cap. Berkshire Hathaway is the third-largest shareholder in Apple, behind Vanguard and BlackRock.

Earlier this year, Buffett told CNBC that he would "love to own 100 percent" of Apple. He added, "we like very much the management, and the way they think, and the way they act."

Monday, June 25, 2018

Warren Buffett exits USG position

Warren Buffett is finally getting closure on a long-held investment he recently called disappointing.

USG agreed to a $7 billion buyout by Germany's Knauf after Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway threw its support behind a shareholder uprising. Berkshire is USG's biggest shareholder, with a stake of 31 percent, and had said earlier this year it would vote against USG's four director nominees after the company rebuffed an earlier Knauf bid.

Knauf is USG's second-largest shareholder. Chicago-based USG makes building materials such as drywall. Berkshire began acquiring the shares 18 years ago but the company has been troubled with bankruptcy and asbestos claims.

It emerged from bankruptcy in 2006 with Berkshire's help. But when the mortgage crisis hit, it needed a $300 million bailout from Berkshire in a deal that gave Buffett's conglomerate the chance to convert notes into shares.

In March, Berkshire said in a securities filing it offered its stake in USG to Knauf for $42 a share. The deal, announced Monday, values Berkshire's stake at $1.9 billion.

At last year's annual shareholder meeting, Buffett called the investment "disappointing." And last month, Buffett told CNBC it was the first time he can remember Berkshire voting against a director slate at one of its holdings. He said the directors "didn't represent our interests" about the decision to take that stance. "For 18 years, it has not worked out that well," he said.

The Berkshire Hathaway investment dates back to 2001, when Buffett helped the company out of bankruptcy with a loan that was later converted to a stake in the company’s equity so large that a wholesale acquisition of the entire company remained one of the few ways for Berkshire to exit the investment without pushing down the share price.