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Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway investment company has sold more than 245 million shares in supermarket giant Tesco.

The sale brings Berkshire’s holding to below 3%.

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Earlier this month, Mr Buffett, nick-named “the Sage of Omaha”, said his decision to invest in Tesco had been a “huge mistake”.

Berkshire Hathaway owned 3.7% of Tesco at the end of 2013, a stake worth about £1bn.

The supermarket’s share price has plunged more than 50% over the last 52 weeks after falling sales and accounts mis-reporting has unsettled investors.

“I made a mistake on Tesco. That was a huge mistake by me,” Mr Buffett told CNBC in early October.

Another major investor, Blackrock, also began selling down its 5% Tesco stake in September.

Long-term investing

Mr Buffett is known for taking long-term bets on established companies rather than investing in riskier stocks.

His portfolio of investments include well-known brands such as Coca-Cola, IBM and American Express.

Berkshire Hathaway began building a stake in Tesco in 2006, and by 2012 owned more than 5% of the business.

But Tesco has struggled in the face of increased competition from discount retailers such as Aldi and Lidl, and the failure of some of its international ventures.

A series of profit warnings and the revelation that it had overstated its expected half-year profits by £250m caused alarm among investors.

Tesco has asked a growing number of senior executives to step aside while internal investigations into the accounting irregularity take place.

The Financial Conduct Authority has also confirmed it is investigating the issue.

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