Buffett Becomes Biggest Munich Re Buyer - TheStreet

Buffett Becomes Biggest Munich Re Buyer

Berkshire Hathaway reveals in a filing that it has eclipsed money manager BlackRock as the biggest shareholder in reinsurer Munich Re.
Author:
Publish date:

OMAHA, Neb. (

TheStreet

) --

Warren Buffett

and

Berkshire Hathaway

(BRK.B) - Get Report

are now the biggest shareholders in Munich Re, eclipsing the previously biggest stake in the reinsurance company held by money manager

BlackRock

(BLK) - Get Report

.

Last month, Berkshire Hathaway revealed that it had built a 3% stake in Munich Re.

Buffett isn't done yet, either, in building up his stake in Munich Re. A regulatory filing indicates that Berkshire Hathaway has options on another 2% of Munich Re that can be exercised by March 11, taking Berkshire's holding in the reinsurer to 7%.

Munich Re management said they do not view the big recent moves from Buffett into their stock as a hostile maneuver.

Buffett already owns 3% of Swiss Re, and Berkshire Hathaway has a long-time strategy of using the

spread between the cost of insurance premiums and the return on equity from reinvestment of premium income to generate profits for Berkshire investors.

Berkshire also announced in January that it had acquired for, $1.3 billion, a block of reinsurance premiums from Swiss Re in the range of $50 billion to $60 billion.

While Munich Re does not view the move as hostile -- and street analysts have concurred with this view -- Berkshire also began its investment in

Burlington Northern

(BNI)

with a an 11% stake in April 2007, and is in now in the final stages of acquiring the railroad operator.

Longtime Berkshire investors have also been wondering whether the

Burlington deal with be the last major M&A move of Buffett's career, or if the Oracle of Omaha has another big surprise in store for shareholders in the coming years.

-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.

RELATED STORIES:

>>Berkshire Hathaway: Best in Class

>>Will Burlington Be Buffett's Last Big Buy?

>>See our new stock quote page.

Follow TheStreet.com on

Twitter

and become a fan on

Facebook.

Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.