Buffett invests in new technology for $2bn fund
A Berkshire Hathaway Inc. stock fund manager who has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Affordable Care Act is investing in a new technology that could make health insurance cheaper for consumers.
Mr. Buffett, the chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaways (BRKA), made the announcement Friday in an interview with The Associated Press.
His investment in a $2 billion technology firm that provides a system that could help the government lower premiums is part of a broader effort by Mr. Buffett to expand his private equity portfolio.
It also marks the first time he has taken part in a private equity fund.
Mr. Buffet and other Berkshire investors have been pushing the Federal Reserve to expand its role in helping the U.S. market.
Mr, Buffett’s role has included a major investment in the UBS hedge fund in 2011, as well as a stake in an alternative-energy company.
Berkshire has also said it would invest in a medical device maker in an effort to develop treatments for diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
The fund, called the Berkshire Advanced Fund, is part-funded by Mr Buffett’s personal wealth and by Berkshire Hathams shares.
It is one of two companies in the Berkshire group that also invest in private equity firms.
Berkshire Hathafors shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Investors can see how much they have invested on a “share-to-share” basis at the Berkshire Hathaws website, where a single investor can review his or her holdings.
Mr Buffett said he plans to use the funds’ assets to buy a stake of Berkshire’s stake in UnitedHealth Group Inc., which manages about $10 billion in health insurance for Americans, including about $1.7 billion for individual plans.
UnitedHealth, the nation’s second-largest health insurer, is expected to release quarterly results in the first quarter of next year that could be in line with Wall Street’s expectations.
UnitedHealth is the latest of a growing number of companies that have seen their share prices fall.
Shares of UnitedHealth, which is owned by UnitedHealth Capital Inc., fell 3.5% in midday trading Friday.