Paulson Takes Position in Verizon, Reduces Family Dollar Holding

May 15, 2014 5:35 pm ET

May 15 (Bloomberg) -- Paulson & Co., the $22.8 billion hedge-fund firm run by John Paulson, took positions in Verizon Communications Inc. and CBS Corp. and reduced holdings of Family Dollar Stores Inc. and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. last quarter.

The New York-based firm purchased 8.7 million shares of Verizon in the first quarter, which had a market value of $415.9 million as of March 31, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today and data compiled by Bloomberg. The firm acquired 4.5 million shares at a market value of $276.7 million at quarter-end of CBS, owner of the most-watched television network, and 1 million shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., the company whose cash-and- stock offer for Botox maker Allergan Inc. was rejected this week.

Paulson sold shares in Family Dollar in the first quarter that had a market value of $375.3 million, as well as Freeport- McMoRan stock valued at $334.8 million, the filing and Bloomberg data show.

Paulson, 58, is best known for making $15 billion in 2007 betting against subprime mortgages. His main strategies rebounded last year with prescient bets on companies in takeovers, and by investing in stocks that surged as global central bank policies propped up markets. The firm’s funds posted mixed results last month.

The value of the firm’s investments in health-care companies rose 3.4 percent during the quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The firm’s consumer discretionary bets decreased by 1.7 percent and its wagers on financial companies fell 1.5 percent, the data show.

Armel Leslie, a spokesman for Paulson & Co. with WalekPeppercomm, declined to comment on today’s filing.

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.

--With assistance from Margaret Collins in New York.