(CMR) Kenneth Dart, Cayman Islands biggest real estate developer, is now the third-biggest shareholder in British American Tobacco (BAT).
Dart, who Bloomberg refers to as a secretive billionaire, invested in tobacco when major investors were moving away from the declining industry. Dart has taken a 7 percent stake in British American Tobacco and bought 3 percent of rival Imperial Brands through his Spring Mountain Investments fund.
Dart's 7 percent stake in British American Tobacco is now worth $6 billion, while his investment in Imperial Brands is said to be $634 million, Bloomberg reported.
The investments come as tobacco stocks see a major decline influenced by the growing influence of ESG investment and regulatory scrutiny fuelled by health concerns. BAT has reportedly shed more than a third of its market value over the past five years, while Imperial has slumped by almost two-thirds.
Dart's investments, according to Bloomberg, go against one of the hottest trends in finance: Investing in companies that focus on environmental, social, and governance factors, which ensures long-term sustainable prospects for corporations.
According to Bloomberg, Spring Mountain is the latest in a series of entities the publicity-shy Dart has used to buy securities. He previously set up Portfolio Services Ltd., Seneca Investments, EM Ltd., Eastern Capital, and LBS Investments. In recent years these have been used to invest in obscure biotechnology stocks that make up a fraction of his fortune, estimated at $6.6 billion by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.