Have a flat-lined stock like Gap Stores (GPS) or Home Depot (HD)? Why not start a rumor that Eddie Lampert, Chairman of Sears Holdings and general partner of ESL Investments, a Connecticut based hedge fund, is interested in your stock? That seems to be a recurring idea on Wall Street lately.
The latest rumor sent shares of St. Louis based beer brewer Anheuser Busch (BUD) up 2 percent on Tuesday, on reports that Lampert could launch a $56 per share takeover bid. This has to be one of the silliest rumors I’ve ever heard. At least GPS or HD made a little sense given Lampert’s taste for retailers, even though Home Depot is far too big for an outright acquisition.
How exactly could Lampert pay $44 billion for BUD? And even if he did have the money, why would he do such a thing? Maybe those starting these rumors just want the Warren Buffett/Eddie Lampert comparison to ring true. After all, Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) has a fairly large position in BUD. Regardless of who is responsible for the rumors, please do not buy BUD shares on hopes of this news materializing. There is no way Lampert buys out Anheuser Busch.