Ted Weschler, one of the big investment managers at Berkshire Hathaway and hired by Warren Buffett to oversee the company portfolio, watched his personal stake in WR Grace & Co., the chemical maker, go up in value by about $40 million.
Grace intends to separate its company into two businesses through a tax-free spinoff, according to a statement that they recently made. This announcement fueled a price surge in the Columbia, Maryland company’s stock and it rose by 15%.
In the 1980s, the 53-year-old Weschler worked at Grace. He was even the assistant to J. Peter Grace, the longtime leader of the company. And then later after starting his own hedge fund, he began investing in the company in 2001 as it entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a way to resolve claims that were asbestos related.
This purchase was one of Weschler’s hedge fund’s most successful investments. As he wound down the partnership to join Berkshire Hathaway in 2011, he held 3.74 million as a personal stake.
Grace exited bankruptcy protection last year and closed 12% higher on the stock market in New York at $102.32. At that price, the stake that Weschler has should be valued at over $380 million, but he declined to comment.
Once the split is complete, one of the businesses will comprise the materials technologies businesses and the catalysts technologies businesses. The second business will make up the packaging units and the construction products units. The breakup of the company will create two simplified companies that will let management focus more on productivity, said Grace.