In Anheuser Busch Inbev SA (ADR) (NYSE:BUD), Markel Gayner owns 425,000 shares valued at $51.81 million, while Gardner Russo holds 15,000 shares worth $1.83 million as of the end of March. The company is a Belgian-Brazilian firm that specializes in beverage and brewing, being the largest global brewer, controlling up to 25% of the global market share. Towards expanding its operations in the U.S., Anheuser Busch Inbev SA (ADR) (NYSE:BUD) recently announced that it will invest up to $1.5 billion in its U.S. operations. At the end of the first quarter of 2015, a total of 38 hedge funds out of the more than 700 that we track held positions in the stock. Eric W. Mandelblatt‘s Soroban Capital Partners came top with 5.84 million shares. Other funds that also had shares in the stock are billionaire James Dinan’s York Capital Management and Robert Rodriguez and Steven Romick’s First Pacific Advisors.
Markel Gayner Asset Management and Gardner Russo & Gardner both own stakes in Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE:BF.B), with Gayner’s fund holding 421,500 shares valued at $38.26 million and Russo’s fund owning 2.81 million shares with a value of $254.84 million, emerging as the biggest shareholder out of the hedge funds we track. The spirits and wine producing company recently announced that it is investing up to $12 million to set up a production center in Spencer, Indiana. Owing to the job creation plans of the project, Indiana Economic Development Corporation granted the company a $350,000 incentive in conditional tax credits. The announcement came a few weeks after the company announced its purchase of all shares of Slane Castle Irish Whiskey Limited and a plan to invest an approximated $50 million towards the construction of a distillery and consumer experience to be situated on the historic Slane Castle Estate in County Meath, Ireland. At the end of the first quarter of 2015, up to 20 of the more than 700 hedge funds that we track were invested in the stock, including GAMCO Investors and billionaire Richard Chilton’s Chilton Investment Company.
Finally, let’s take a look at Visa Inc (NYSE:V), in which Markel Gayner Asset Management held 808,000 shares valued at $52.53 million and Gardner Russo & Gardner held 458,760 shares valued at $30.01 million. The financial services company recently announced an intention to team up with FireEye to co-develop tools and related services to help guard consumers against advanced cyber attacks. In another partnership for greater user experience, the company is teaming up with Verifone to integrate some of their services, Verifone’s point of sale gateway and Visa Inc (NYSE:V)’s CyberSource global merchant payment management platform, to accelerate Omni Commerce globally. The stock boasts an estimated 5-year annual growth of 18.03% and a PEG multiple of 1.67. During the first quarter, billionaire Ken Fisher‘s Fisher Asset Management upped his position in Visa Inc (NYSE:V) by more than 300% to 14.32 million shares, which makes it the largest shareholder among the funds we track.