Billionaire John Paulson now second-largest MGM Mirage shareholder

Billionaire John Paulson, through his New York-based hedge fund, has become the second-largest shareholder in MGM Mirage.

Bloomberg News reported Paulson & Co. acquired 40 million shares of MGM Mirage, as well as 4 million shares of Boyd Gaming Corp., during the first quarter of this year.

The stake in MGM Mirage places Paulson behind only MGM Mirage founder Kirk Kerkorian, the 92-year-old Los Angeles-based billionaire, as the casino operator’s largest investor. Kerkorian, who serves on the company’s board of directors, controls 37 percent of MGM Mirage.

Dubai World, the investment arm of the Persian Gulf emirate, owns just below 10 percent of MGM Mirage’s common stock.

According to Bloomberg, Paulson’s stake in Boyd Gaming made the billionaire the company’s fourth-largest owner.

Paulson’s hedge fund made $15 billion betting on the decline in subprime mortgages in 2007. Paulson oversees $35 billion in hedge funds, which are loosely regulated private partnerships that can bet on rising or falling prices of any securities.

Shares of MGM Mirage closed at $13.32 on the New York Stock Exchange Monday, down 33 cents. Boyd Gaming closed at $13.24 on New York Stock Exchange, up 4 cents.

MGM Mirage operates10 Strip resorts, along with casinos in Reno, Macau, Detroit and Mississippi. Boyd Gaming operates casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Mississippi, Louisiana, Indiana and Illinois.