Late in the day on Monday, May 16th, Berkshire Hathaway disclosed that it had bought more than a 10% stake in Paramount Global in the first quarter of this year, but the reason the company did not have to file with the SEC is because it currently owns non-voting shares in Paramount, reports an article in Barron’s.
Berkshire’s purchase of almost 69 million class B shares has given Paramount’s stock a much-needed lift. The stock recently sank to a 52-week low but shot up 10% in pre-market trading the day after the announcement. The 13-F filing revealed that Berkshire holds 10.6% of Paramount based on their most recent share count at the end of April. That count showed 40.7 million class A shares outstanding and 608.4 million class B shares; National Amusements, controlled by the Redstone family, owns the majority of those class A shares, which are the only shares granted voting rights.
Because Berkshire purchased class B shares—non-voting shares—they did not have to disclose the purchase immediately through a Form 3 or 4 to the SEC, and their stake does not give them a say in how the media company is run, the article concludes.