Paulson & Co. Inc. is Boston Scientific Corp.’s (NYSE:BSX) largest shareholder no more, after liquidating its position in BSX completely by selling off some 15 million shares of the Natick, Mass.-based medical device company during the second quarter.
The New York-based fund has been steadily selling off its BSX shares for more than a year. As of the end of the first quarter 2011, the fund held 15 million shares, which was valued at $107.9 million at the time, according to regulatory filings.
However, the fund sold off its remaining holdings sometime during the second quarter, when BSX share prices ranged from $7.19 March 31 to $6.91 by June 30. That leaves Paulson fetching between $104 million and $108 million with the sell-off.
The firm owned nearly 100 million shares of BSX, worth $715.8 million, as of the end of the first quarter in 2010, according to a filing with the federal SEC. The fund ditched more than 19.1 million shares during the second quarter last year, according to another SEC filing, and sold off some 55 million shares during the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010.
In addition to dissolving its holdings in BSX, Paulson also cut its stake in Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT) in half.
Paulson & Co., which began buying up Medtronic stock in the fourth quarter of 2010, reported holdings of 9.3 million MDT shares, valued at $366 million, at the end of the first quarter of 2011.
Sometime during the second quarter, the fund sold off some 4.4 million shares, when MDT shares ranged from $39.35 on March 31 to $38.53 on June 30. That leaves Paulson fetching between $169.5 million and $173 million with the sell-off.
The fund currently holds just under 4.9 million shares of MDT valued at $188 million, according to regulatory filings.
The Paulson fund also dissolved a very small stake in St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) of about 170,000 shares.
The hedge fund is run by John Paulson, the billionaire financier who’s made frequent headlines over the past two years. Paulson was a player in the fallout over Goldman Sachs & Co.’s sub-prime mortgage fiasco last spring; his enormous personal wealth makes him all the more conspicuous. The Wall Street Journal pegged his personal income at $5 billion for 2010.
However, Paulson has come under (relatively) hard times as of late with several high profile losses in 2011 that, according to some media reports, has the fund down around 30 percent for the year.