Jacobson’s Highfields Trims Stake in McDonald’s, Sells Microsoft

  • Highfields sold out of its position in Yahoo! in first quarter
  • Firm adds to consumer stakes, buying Marriott and Walgreens

Highfields Capital Management, the investment firm run by Jon Jacobson, decreased its stake in McDonald’s Corp. and exited its positions in Yahoo! Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

The Boston-based firm sold 7.14 million shares in McDonald’s valued at $808 million as of March 31, according to a government filing Monday. It also sold 12.79 million shares of Microsoft for $709.7 million and 7.2 million shares in Yahoo! valued at about $239.5 million.

The Highfields sale comes as Satya Nadella attempts to turnaround Microsoft by transitioning to cloud and subscription-based products from dependence on one-time purchases that hurt revenue. McDonald’s stock has rallied as Steve Easterbrook, who became chief executive in March 2015, has slimmed down corporate staff and revamped drive-thru ordering. McDonald’s remains Highfields’ largest holding.

Highfields added to its consumer holdings, taking a new 6.86 million share stake in Marriott International Inc. valued at $488.3 million, and buying 2.79 million shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.

Money managers who oversee more than $100 million in equities must file a Form 13F within 45 days of each quarter’s end to list their U.S.-traded stocks, options and convertible bonds. The filings don’t show non-U.S. securities or how much cash the firms hold.

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