Berkshire’s DaVita Stake Climbs Past 10% of Dialysis Firm

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. increased its stake in dialysis provider DaVita Inc. above 10 percent as the billionaire chairman empowers deputies to expand their stock portfolios.

Berkshire held 10.2 million shares of the Denver-based health care company as of Sept. 28, according to a filing today from Buffett’s firm. That compares with 9.3 million shares at the end of the second quarter. The holding climbed to about 11 percent according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Buffett, 82, has been ceding more responsibility over Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire’s $86.2 billion stock portfolio to Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, whom he brought on in the past two years to help manage investments. DaVita was among the largest holdings at Weschler’s hedge fund before he was hired by the billionaire’s firm in September 2011. Berkshire began building its stake in last year’s fourth quarter.

“We just we keep moving more money over to them,” Buffett said of Weschler and Combs in a July interview with Bloomberg Television’s Betty Liu.

DaVita has climbed 37 percent this year to $103.61 through Sept. 28, as the company struck a deal to acquire HealthCare Partners, which manages medical groups and physician networks. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has advanced 15 percent in 2012.

Peter Grauer, chairman of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, has served on DaVita’s board since 1994.

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