Soros Makes Drugmaker Teva Biggest Stake as Shares Climb

Feb 16, 2014 9:42 am ET

(Updates with closing share price in penultimate paragraph.)

Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Soros Fund Management LLC, the family office of billionaire George Soros, boosted its stake in Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., making the Israeli drugmaker its largest holding in the fourth quarter.

The New York-based firm added 5.7 million shares to its stake in Teva during the last three months of 2013, boosting its holding to $373 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 14. Petach Tikva, Israel-based Teva was the fund’s largest increase by market value during the period and represents 4 percent of the $9.2 billion fund, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Teva, the world’s largest maker of generic drugs, has gained 10.3 percent this year after its board appointed Erez Vigodman as its new chief executive officer, replacing Jeremy Levin, who resigned in October. The company has pledged to overhaul its board and cut costs as it faces competition from cheaper generic versions for its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone, which analysts say contributes to more than 50 percent of profit.

Teva’s fourth-quarter earnings climbed 5.5 percent, beating analyst estimates, as the drugmaker marketed new generic medicines and sales of the Treanda cancer treatment rose, the company said Feb. 6.

Shares advanced 4.8 percent in the last three months of 2013, its first quarterly increase since March. The shares gained 0.1 percent to 154.80 shekels at the close in Tel Aviv.

Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, was Soros Fund Management’s biggest holding in the third quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

--Editors: James Doran, Robert Lakin