- Li Lu’s Himalaya fund sold 15% of its BYD stake in two days, netting about $320 million.
- Li encouraged Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger to invest in the Chinese automaker in 2008.
- BYD’s stock price is down about 5% this year after soaring 400% in 2020.
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Li Lu introduced Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger to BYD, one of the pair’s best investments over the past decade. The fund manager seems less bullish on the Chinese electric-vehicle maker today, given he recently cashed out more than $300 million of its stock in the space of two days.
Li’s Himalaya Capital Management sold 7.1 million shares for around $29 each on July 8, and disposed of another 3.6 million shares at a similar price on July 9, Hong Kong stock-exchange filings show. The sales reduced its BYD stake by 15% to 62.9 million shares.
Himalaya raked in nearly $320 million from the sales, leaving it with a stake worth $1.7 billion at the last count. BYD’s Hong Kong-listed shares have slid by about 5% this year after surging roughly five-fold in 2020.
Himalaya didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
BYD counts Himalaya as its second-largest shareholder after Buffett and Munger’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, according to the automaker’s latest annual report. Li originally told Munger about BYD, spurring Berkshire in 2008 to spend $232 million for 225 million shares of the company – a stake worth over $6 billion today.
Munger – Buffett’s business partner and Berkshire’s vice-chairman – has effusively praised the Himalaya boss in the past. He dubbed Li “the Chinese Warren Buffett” in 2019, revealed the fund manager was the only outsider he’s ever trusted to invest his money, and said in 2010 it was a “foregone conclusion” that Li would eventually hold a leading role at Berkshire.