May 29, 2017 / 9:00 AM / in 7 months

Warren Buffett takes 3 percent stake in Germany's Lanxess

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Lanxess (LXSG.DE) disclosed on Monday that Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N), the conglomerate run by billionaire Warren Buffett, had acquired a 3 percent stake in the German chemicals maker.

FILE PHOTO: Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett waits to play table tennis during the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting weekend in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S. May 7, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo

Lanxess shares jumped 2.9 percent to 65.06 euros by 0936 GMT after the news, even though the stock was trading without the rights to a 0.70 euro-per-share dividend for the first time.

In a regulatory filing, Lanxess said that Berkshire Hathaway’s General Reinsurance subsidiary took a stake that reached just over 3 percent on May 19.

    The shares held by General Re - whose total financial investments excluding cash holdings stood at about $22 billion at the end of last year - were worth about 180 million euros ($200 million) at that time.

    General Re’s stake in Lanxess crossed the 3 percent threshold after Lanxess on May 11 beat consensus estimates for first-quarter earnings on strong sales of engineering plastics and synthetic rubber, but the company warned at the time that demand would soften later this year. [nL8N1ID0XS]

    Shares in Lanxess, a former unit of Bayer (BAYGn.DE) whose products include pesticide ingredients, construction pigments and leather chemicals, earlier this month reached four-year highs.

    Lanxess has said that after recent acquisitions worth a combined 2.6 billion euros more strategic steps could be in the offing in the second half of the year.

    Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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