SAM Looks Out for the Little Guy
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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

SAM Looks Out for the Little Guy

Southeastern Asset Management is closing the Longleaf Partners Fund to new investors on Friday due to insufficient investment prospects, the company announced last week. The Longleaf Fund had $8.5 billion in assets at the end of June.

Mason Hawkins, co-portfolio manager of the fund, noted that Southeastern's employees are one of the largest shareholder groups in the fund.

The Memphis, Tennessee-based advisor to the fund, is "having difficulty" finding companies to invest in that meet the fund's criteria. Because of that difficulty, cash had grown to 29 percent of assets in the fund; the fund's portfolio contained 19 stocks at the end of June.

"We are unwilling to commit capital to marginally attractive investments because the risks are higher and the prospective returns are lower. We believe that our patience and discipline today will pay off handsomely over the next five years," said Hawkins.

"We will wait patiently for terrific opportunities," said Hawkins.

Southeastern Asset Management manages $28 billion in assets; $13 billion for three Longleaf funds.

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