Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management LP bought approximately 3.5 million class B shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which are worth about $685.3 million based on the Aug. 14 closing price.
Ackman is known in the investment community as an activist investor, previously taking a massive short-selling position in Carl Icahn's Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. However, he lost the bet, and the losses were cited as a factor in a reported investor exodus from Pershing Square in April 2018 over subpar performance.
Pershing Square also took a loss on its investment in Valeant Pharmaceuticals, now known as Bausch Health Companies Inc. The loss was tallied at around $4 billion when Pershing exited the company in 2017. Valeant and Pershing in December 2017 agreed to pay $290 million to settle lawsuits alleging they used insider information in an attempt to acquire Botox maker Allergan PLC in 2014.
The hedge fund had a 48.9% year-to-date return as of Aug. 13, according to its website, but the last time it had a positive year-to-date return at a year-end was in 2014, which was tallied at 40.4%. The biggest loss was tallied at 20.5% in 2015, while the smallest loss was in 2018 at 0.7%.
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway disclosed in its latest regulatory filing that it increased its stakes in companies such as Amazon.com Inc., Bank of America Corp. and U.S. Bancorp. Shares of The Kraft Heinz Co., one of Berkshire Hathaway's investments, plunged when it reported earnings down 51% from the year-ago period as it saw weaker net sales and a $1.22 billion write-down on several business units.