Hedge Fund Highlights: George Soros, Warren Buffett & Ralph Whitworth

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Paulson holds onto gold ETF, Soros adds gold miners in first-quarter (Reuters)
Hedge fund Paulson & Co in Q1 maintained its stake in SPDR Gold Trust (ETF) (NYSEARCA:GLD), the world’s biggest gold-backed exchange-traded fund as bullion prices rebounded from their biggest annual loss in 32 years in 2013, while PIMCO dissolved its gold ETF investment. George Soros raised his stake in Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX) and gold mining companies ETFs, suggesting the big names in hedge funds took advantage of lower gold prices to increase positions in the precious metal used by many as a hedge.

George Soros

Berkshire Trims GM Stake While Einhorn Exits Amid Recalls (Bloomberg)
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. cut its stake in General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) in the first quarter and some hedge funds including Greenlight Capital Inc. exited completely as the carmaker recalled a record number of vehicles. Berkshire reduced its GM holdings by 25 percent during the three-month period to 30 million shares, the Omaha, Nebraska-based company said in a regulatory filing. Greenlight, run by David Einhorn, liquidated about 17 million shares worth about $697 million as of March 31, according to a filing.

NBA owners approve sale of Bucks (ESPN)
The NBA’s board of governors unanimously approved the sale Thursday of the Milwaukee Bucks to New York investment firm executives Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry, bringing the forlorn franchise one step closer to starting a new era. Former U.S. senator Herb Kohl reached agreement with them last month for a price tag of about $550 million after they pledged to keep the team in Milwaukee. The NBA said Thursday in a statement that the transaction is expected to close shortly.

Kovner, Odey Among BofA Buyers Before Stress-Test Error (Businessweek)
Caxton Associates LP and Crispin Odey’s hedge fund were among buyers of Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) shares in the first quarter before the lender halted its capital plan and sparked a 15 percent stock plunge. Caxton, the hedge fund founded in 1983 by Bruce Kovner, bought 2.5 million shares of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank in the first quarter, according to a filing yesterday. Odey Asset Management Group Ltd. purchased 5.3 million shares. George Soros was among investors selling the stock.

Marshall Wace to IPO Peer-to-Peer Lending Fund in London (Wall Street Journal)
Marshall Wace LLP, one of Europe’s largest hedge funds, is to float an investment trust on the London Stock Exchange that will invest in peer-to peer loans. P2P Global Investments PLC, which will have Marshall Wace as its investment manager, said Friday it plans to raise £200 million ($335.8 million) in an initial public offering, which could be increased to £230 million.

Whitworth Buys 3.5% Holding in B/E Aerospace Amid Review (Bloomberg)
Relational Investors LLC, the activist fund co-founded by Ralph Whitworth and David Batchelder, disclosed a stake of about 3.5 percent in B/E Aerospace Inc (NASDAQ:BEAV) as the maker of aircraft seats conducts a strategic review. The firm started buying the shares in February and began talks with B/E management shortly therafter, according to a person familiar with the matter. San Diego-based Relational, which manages about $6 billion, disclosed the stake yesterday in a regulatory filing.

Q1 13F round up: Berkshire, Third Point & more (CNBC.com)

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