One of Boston Scientific Corp.’s (NYSE:BSX) largest shareholders sold off nearly 70 percent of its stake in the medical device maker during the fourth quarter.
Paulson & Co. LLC now owns 25 million BSX shares, or about 1.5 percent of the Natick, Mass.-based firm. That position is worth $189.2 million, according to a regulatory filing.
The New York-based hedge fund has been steadily liquidating shares of BSX over the last year. The firm owned nearly 100 million shares worth $715.8 million as of the end of the first quarter, according to a filing with the federal Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund ditched more than 19.1 million shares during the second quarter, according to another SEC filing and sold off some 55 million shares during the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31, 2010.
BSX shares ranged from $6.13 Sept. 30 to about $7.57 Dec. 31, hitting a high-water mark of $7.82 Dec. 28. That leaves Paulson fetching between $337 million and $430 million for ithe sell-off.
The hedge fund is run by John Paulson, a 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 and his enormous personal wealth makes him all the more conspicuous. Last month the Wall Street Journal pegged his personal income at $5 billion for 2010.
Paulson’s firm was once Boston Scientific’s largest institutional shareholder, a position now held by Dodge & Cox, Inc., which recently increased its stake to 120 million shares, or 7.9 percent, of its neighbor in Natick.