Vivendi Reveals Baupost Group's Stake in the Company ~ market folly

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Vivendi Reveals Baupost Group's Stake in the Company

A new position by Seth Klarman's Baupost Group was recently revealed. However, instead of the traditional methods whereby a hedge fund discloses the position to a regulatory body (such as the SEC), this position was actually revealed by a company.

In Vivendi's (EPA:VIV) 2011 annual report, they disclose that Baupost Group owned 25.5 million shares as of February 29th, 2012. At that time, it was worth overt $400 million. This equates to around a 2.04% ownership stake in the company.

That would have made it Baupost's largest equity position (that had been disclosed) at the time. (Bear in mind that Baupost only allocates a portion of its portfolio to equities). Since then, though, shares of VIV have declined and their stake is now worth considerably less.

This isn't the only major media company the hedge fund has a stake in. Our Hedge Fund Wisdom newsletter subscribers have long known that Baupost Group owns a stake in News Corp (NWSA) as well.

Per Google Finance, Vivendi is "a France-based company engaged in telecommunications services and media entertainment. The Company operates six core subsidiaries: Activision Blizzard, a 60%-owned publisher of online and console games; Universal Music Group, a 100%-owned recorded music company; SFR, a 100%-owned French telecommunications operator; Maroc Telecom Group, a 53%-owned mobile and fixed-line and Internet operator in Morocco, active also in Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mauritania and Mali; GVT, a 100%-owned telecommunications operator in Brazil; and Groupe Canal+, a 100% subsidiary, which offers premium and theme channel distribution and programming in France."

You can also see additional recent portfolio movements by Baupost.

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