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Berkshire Hathaway finally bought shares of Amazon, says Warren Buffett

The purchase marks a U-turn for Berkshire, where Buffett has long praised the leadership of Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos


Warren Buffett
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett (Photo: Reuters)

said Hathaway Inc has bought shares of internet retailing giant com Inc for the first time, though he has not been the one doing the buying, CNBC reported on Thursday.

Buffett said the purchase was made by one of his investment managers, Todd Combs or Ted Weschler, and details would be disclosed later this month in Berkshire's quarterly report of its US stock holdings.

The purchase marks a U-turn for Berkshire, where Buffett has long praised the leadership of Chief Executive

"Yeah, I've been a fan, and I've been an idiot for not buying," Buffett told CNBC.

Buffett's assistant did not immediately respond to a request for comment. did not immediately respond to a similar request.

Shares of often rise when reveals its support through new stakes, even when the purchases are believed or known to have been made by Combs or Weschler, who together invest about $26 billion.

The initial impetus of the portfolio managers has in the past heralded Buffett's eventual forays into some of their investments, often in big ways.

It was Combs who in 2012 began investing in industrial and aircraft parts maker Precision Castparts Corp. Four years later, completed its purchase of that company for $32 billion, in what remains Buffett's largest acquisition.

More recently, it was either Combs or Weschler who in 2016 began investing in iPhone maker Apple Inc.

But it was Buffett who ramped up that stake into Berkshire's largest common stock investment, more than 255 million shares, now worth roughly $53 billion.

The Amazon purchase adds an additional bond between Buffett and Bezos, whose teamed up last year with JPMorgan Chase & Co to form a new venture, Haven, to reduce employee healthcare costs.

Berkshire has more than 90 businesses in the insurance, energy, food and retail, industrial, railroad and other sectors, and often buys stocks when buying whole appears too expensive.

In February, Buffett called acquisition prices "sky-high for businesses possessing decent long-term prospects."

Buffett and Berkshire Vice Chairman will on Saturday answer shareholder questions at Berkshire's annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, which normally draws more than 40,000 people.

First Published: Fri, May 03 2019. 07:45 IST