Berkshire Discloses MasterCard Stake as Combs Joins Buffett

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) reported a stake in MasterCard Inc. (MA), the second-biggest payments network, as the billionaire handed responsibility for some of the portfolio to a new investment manager.

Buffett’s firm owned 216,000 shares of the company on March 31, Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire said today in a regulatory filing listing its U.S. stock portfolio. Purchase, New York- based MasterCard was the second-biggest holding at Todd Combs’s Castle Point Capital Management LLC as of Sept. 30 before the money manager joined Buffett’s firm.

Buffett, 80, is reshaping Berkshire’s portfolio after the retirement of Lou Simpson, who had picked stocks at the Geico unit, and the arrival of Combs, 40. Combs will manage $1 billion to $3 billion, Buffett said in February. Berkshire held $63.2 billion in equities at the end of March.

“When we issued a press release about Todd’s joining us, a number of commentators pointed out that he was ‘little-known’ and expressed puzzlement that we didn’t seek a ‘big-name,’” Buffett wrote in his letter to investors in February. “I wonder how many of them would have known of Lou in 1979.”

MasterCard advanced 1 percent to $282 at 4:28 p.m. in extended trading in New York.

Photographer: J. Gregory Raymond/Bloomberg

Todd Combs, co-founder of hedge fund Castle Point Capital Management LLC. Close

Todd Combs, co-founder of hedge fund Castle Point Capital Management LLC.

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Photographer: J. Gregory Raymond/Bloomberg

Todd Combs, co-founder of hedge fund Castle Point Capital Management LLC.

The filing omits information about some transactions because Buffett was granted temporary permission to keep them confidential. The Securities and Exchange Commission sometimes allows companies to withhold data from the public to limit copycat investing while a firm is building or cutting a position.

To contact the reporter on this story: Noah Buhayar in New York at Nbuhayar@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net.

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