Ainslie's Maverick Exited Valeant, Added to Pfizer Last Quarter

  • Hedge fund increased stake in Pfizer to 5% of portfolio
  • New buys include Newell Rubbermaid, Charter Communications

Lee Ainslie’s $10 billion hedge fund firm Maverick Capital sold its entire stake in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. last quarter, while adding to its Pfizer Inc. position.

The firm sold 811,361 shares in Valeant, valued at $144.7 million as of Sept. 30, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday. It bought 4.4 million shares in Pfizer, bringing the market value of its stake to $364.7 million as of Dec. 31. Pfizer now accounts for more than 5 percent of Maverick’s disclosed U.S. equities portfolio.

Valeant, a once high-flying stock that was a favorite among hedge funds, has lost about two-thirds of its market value since reaching a peak in early August. A short-seller has accused the drugmaker of using a mail-order pharmacy to inflate sales, and lawmakers have examined how the company set higher prices for medications.

Maverick took new positions in Newell Rubbermaid Inc., Charter Communications Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc. The firm bought 4.17 million shares of consumer-products giant Newell Rubbermaid, valued at $183.7 million as of Dec. 31. The company in December agreed to purchase Jarden Corp. for $15.4 billion to create a new company called Newell Brands.

Maverick purchased 952,318 shares of cable company Charter Communications, valued at $174.4 million dollars, and 1.38 million shares of UnitedHealth, the U.S.’s biggest health insurer, valued at $162.4 million.

Money managers who oversee more than $100 million in U.S. equities must file a Form 13F within 45 days of the end of each quarter to list their holdings in stocks that trade on U.S. exchanges, as well as options and convertible debt. Hedge funds are lightly regulated pools of capital whose managers can invest in any asset and share in annual profits.

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