Blog: Dean BestBuffett ups stake in Tesco

Dean Best | 19 January 2012

A week after Tesco shocked the market and sent its shares tumbling with a profit warning, it has emerged that the US billionaire investor Warren Buffett has quietly increased his stake in the retailer.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange today (19 January), Tesco said Buffett's investment vehicle Berkshire Hathaway had acquired more of the UK retailer's shares. Berkshire's stake is now 5.08%, up from 3.21%, Tesco said.

The date of the share purchase was 13 January, the day after Tesco warned its profits would not grow as fast as expected in its current financial year and in the next 12 months amid continued problems with its UK business. The retailer's shares fell 16%.

However, it is only two months since Buffett, whose investments are watched closely by the financial community, indicated his support for Tesco. In November, the investor told CNBC he would be interested in increasing his interest in Tesco.
"If the price came down some on Tesco, I'd buy some more of that," Buffett said.
Buffett, dubbed the Sage of Omaha, is obviously a man of his word, although his words have not always chimed with Tesco's strategy.
Earlier in 2011, Buffett described Tesco's US venture, Fresh & Easy, which has to make a profit, as "foolhardy".

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