In a statement to the stock exchange, Tesco revealed that Berkshire Hathaway reduced its holding on 13 October to less than 3% – one of the thresholds at which a company must inform the market. Tesco did not say how big Berkshire Hathaway’s remaining stake was.
Buffett, the world’s richest investor, held a 4.1% stake in Tesco through Berkshire Hathaway at the start of this month when he acknowledged that he had made an error.
“I made a mistake on Tesco. That was a huge mistake by me,” he said. Tesco was the only share in his top 15 picks that recorded a loss last year.
He was Tesco’s third-biggest investor after first buying the shares in 2006 and steadily increasing his stake. The so-called Sage of Omaha, whose investments are followed worldwide, increased his stake from 3.2% to more than 5% in January 2012 after the supermarket group issued a profit warning.
Tesco has since published a series of further profit warnings and ousted its chief executive as UK sales have fallen. The company is being investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority over a £250m overstatement of expected first-half profits and has suspended a group of senior managers over the scandal.
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