• Apparently 50 million Tesla shares with an unknown investor
• Buffett and Musk share a long feud
• Has Buffett still invested in Tesla?
Just last week, star investor Warren Buffett filed the 13-F form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. To see there: The largest holdings of his investment vehicle Berkshire Hathaway. The holdings were not surprising: Apple continues to be Buffett’s largest equity position, and the 90-year-old took hold of pharmaceuticals in the past quarter. With the exception of the Chinese BYD group, car manufacturers are currently not part of the Berkshire boss’ portfolio – at least until now. Because the rumor mill is boiling.
Has Buffett invested in Tesla?
The speculation was fueled after an investor took a close look at the distribution of Tesla shares as a result of Tesla’s inclusion in the S&P 500 index. It struck him that 50 million Tesla shares were held by an unknown investor.
The precise number of TSLA shares that went missing, according to my data, is:
56M excluding Offering & SI
72.5M including Offering & excluding SI
60M including Offering & SI
– Frank Peelen (@FrankPeelen) November 19, 2020
But why should Warren Buffett of all people have acquired these 50 million shares – with which he would remain below the 5% reporting threshold? After all, Buffett is a sworn value investor, volatile stocks like Tesla, which are repeatedly said to be at risk of bubbles, are not his preferences.
In addition: Buffett and Elon Musk haven’t been very friendly to each other in the past. He was “not his biggest fan” said Musk when asked about the stock market legend. In addition, Buffett is not the “friendly grandpa” everyone would think he was. Conversely, Berkshire Hathaway did not have a clear opinion about Elon Musk either: he suffered from overconfidence from Buffett confidante Charlie Munger and Buffett himself had even entered into an exchange of blows with Musk.
Actually, there are a few arguments against Warren Buffett of all people being the mysterious owner of 50 million Tesla shares. After all, he already has an electric car manufacturer in his depot with BYD and has emphasized several times in the past that he does not want to invest in Tesla.
Secret deal with the SEC
But as part of the 13-F form, Buffett made a detail public that puzzled many investors – a clause reveals that there is a deal made directly with the SEC that is not publicly available. David Kass, a finance professor at the University of Maryland, told Business Insider that Buffett “is undoubtedly building a great position now and may reveal it in his next 13F.” Edward Jones analyst James Shanahan also assumes that it must be a large publicly traded company that is hiding behind the separate agreement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
At first, many market participants assumed that he would buy up shares in his own company, Berkshire Hathaway, on a large scale. But Tesla is also listed and should it become public that Tesla and Musk skeptic Buffett, of all people, has acquired shares in the electric car manufacturer, Tesla shares could move massively, which in turn suggests that Buffett would initially keep such a step a secret.
Investor had the right nose
Even if it turns out that it was not Buffett who secured the missing 50 million Tesla shares: The Tesla investor had the right nose for his trade. Because the news of the inclusion of the electric car manufacturer in the S&P 500 has once again given Tesla shares a significant boost, with investors making their stake 15 percent plus within the last month alone.
Buffett, who was recently overtaken by Musk on the list of the richest billionaires, would also be happy about such an increase in the value of one of his holdings.