business

One of Warren Buffett's Top Managers Just Made $40 Million in One Day

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Ted Weschler, one of the investment managers that Warren Buffett hired to help oversee the stock portfolio at Berkshire Hathaway Inc., saw his personal stake in chemical-maker W.R. Grace & Co. rise by about $40 million.

Grace plans to separate into two businesses through a tax-free spinoff, according to a a statement Thursday. The announcement fueled a surge of as much as 15 percent in the Columbia, Maryland-based company’s stock.

Weschler, 53, worked at Grace in the 1980s, including a stint as assistant to its longtime leader, J. Peter Grace. Later, after starting a hedge fund, he invested in the chemical maker as it entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001 to resolve asbestos-related claims.

The bet was one of his most successful investments at his hedge fund. When he wound down the partnership in 2011 to join Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire, Weschler held on to a personal stake of about 3.74 million shares.

Grace, which exited bankruptcy protection last year, closed 12 percent higher at $102.32 in New York. At that price, Weschler’s stake would be valued at more than $380 million. He declined to comment.

After the split, one business will comprise Grace’s catalysts-technologies and materials-technologies businesses, while the other will contain the construction-products and packaging units. The breakup will create companies with simplified structures that allow management to be more focused on productivity, Grace said.

(Updates with closing share price in the fifth paragraph.)
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