Buffett scores big with $1bn Activision stake ahead of Microsoft deal

The billionaire’s firm is poised to notch a handsome profit if Microsoft’s acquisition closes

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway purchased nearly 14.7 million shares (worth some $1 billion) of Activision Blizzard in the fourth quarter, a regulatory filing showed on Monday. The investment came shortly before Microsoft announced in January its intention to acquire the video game company for $69 billion.

It’s unclear whether Buffett or one of his two investment managers made the investment, Bloomberg reports. Buffett, Berkshire’s chief executive officer, is a longtime friend of Microsoft’s co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates. They rank fourth (Gates) and sixth (Buffett) among Forbes’ world’s richest people.

According to the filing, Berkshire Hathaway jumped into Activision Blizzard after a US state lawsuit alleging a sexist culture at the game publisher sent the stock price down to as low as $56.40 in the fourth quarter.

READ MORE: Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard in all-time record deal

Meanwhile, Microsoft announced its intent to acquire Activision Blizzard in mid-January for $95 per share, sending the game maker’s stock up 25% to above $82 per share. The record-breaking deal, the largest ever agreed by a US tech company, will make Microsoft the third major player in the video game market.

Buffett’s company reshuffled some other stock bets during the last three months of the year, pulling back on some pharmaceutical stocks, data shows.

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