ESL Boosted Citi Bet, Hit By Losses

Aug 15 2007 | 7:39am ET

ESL Investments, reportedly buffeted by losses, hiked up its stake in Citigroup earlier this year.

The hedge fund, run by Edward Lampert, boosted its Citi holdings to 24.8 million shares during the second quarter, a 63% increase from the 15.2 million in the first quarter. At the same time, ESL, which holds only a handful of names at a time, sold its Clear Channel Communications shares and cut its stake in Motorola.

ESL, like many hedge funds, is having a rough 2007, and if it finishes the year down, it would be only the third time in its two decades in business.

Citi shares are hovering near their 12-month low. In addition, ESL holdings Sears and AutoNation are down year-to-date.

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