Bill Ackman

The highlight of Buffettstock is always Warren’s five-hour, off-the-cuff Q&A session with Berkshire investors at Omaha’s CenturyLink Arena, and this year was no different. The Berkshire chief and sidekick Charlie Munger ranged over a variety of topics for 38,000 adoring fans, including: Did they fuck up, re: Coke? Should a 59-year-old volunteer sheriff and college dropout take over as Berkshire chair when the 83-year-old Buffett expires? Can they invest all of the money they’re making?* And, last but not least, stuff they don’t like, notably high-frequency trading and activist investors. Read more »

If the Pershing Square chief is looking for some new hedge fund managers to bicker with on CNBC, he need look no further than Beverly Hills. Read more »

New Bill Ackman Conspiracy Theory Emerges

Bill Ackman either has the gift of prophecy or has been planning his Valeant-Allergan deal some time. Read more »

Bill Ackman Has Big Plans

The Pershing Square founder smartly used a cleverly disguised subsidiary to build up its largest investment ever, in Botox-maker Allergan. It has similar plans for the future, although the element of surprise may have been lost. Read more »

Bill Ackman is pretty good at waiting. He waited more than a year for JC Penney to see the light and hire the guy he wanted as CEO, and then another year-and-a-half for that guy to fail spectacularly and saddle him with a half-billion dollar loss. Speaking of half-billion dollar losses, he waited for more than a year for a power that is to start looking into his allegation that there’s something amiss at diet-shake distributor and distributor-recruiter Herbalife, and now he’s patiently waiting for one of them to shut it down.

So he’s happy to wait for a couple of months while the people who make Botox consider their options while protected by a poison pill. Just as long as the option they come down on is selling their company for $46 billion to his chosen buyer, or to someone else for a bunch more. Read more »

Ackman, who has teamed up with Canadian pharmaceutical company Valeant to launch a $45.6 billion takeover of Botox maker Allergan, warned drugmakers Tuesday that he plans to go on a little buying spree. “This is not the last deal we’re going to do,” he said. “We’re already talking about the next deal we’re going to do with Valeant.” “There are $10 trillion worth of targets,” said Ackman, referring to the combined market cap of the pharmaceutical industry. “I call this the shopping list.” [NYP]


Last night, in an interview with CNBC, Carl Icahn had this to say about fellow hedge fund manager Bill Ackman and his recent bid with drugmaker Valiant Pharmaceuticals for Botox maker Allergan:

“We have our differences, but I never said he’s not a smart guy. I think the concept of this is good. I hope it works out better for him than Herbalife did, and I think it will…There’s nothing wrong with making a bid for a company and using someone else’s funds.”

Those of you who’ve kept up with Icahn and Ackman’s relationship know that Icahn saying he never said Ackman’s “not a smart guy” represents a complete 180 from his comments about the Pershing Square manager in the past. Those include but are not limited to:

  • To the New York Times: “How many times have judges been wrong? How many people have gone to the death chamber because they’re wrong? Ackman is dead wrong.”
  • On BloombergTV: “…it’s no secret I don’t like Ackman”
  • Also on BloombergTV: “I have no respect for him and I don’t like him and that’s not a secret.”
  • In the same interview on BloombergTV: “I dislike the guy, I don’t respect him, I’ve done business with him and he wasn’t forthright…that’s my opinion.”
  • Via press release: “To get the record straight, I never asked Ackman to be my friend.”
  • In the same press release: “Bill Ackman has recently stated ‘Carl Icahn is a great investor.’ I thank him but unfortunately I cannot return the compliment.”
  • On CNBC: “I was minding my own business in 2003 and I get a call from this Ackman guy and he’s like the crybaby in the school yard. I went to a tough school in Queens and they used to beat up the little Jewish boys and he was like these little Jewish boys crying saying the world was taking advantage of him. He was almost sobbing. And he’s in my office talking about this Hallwood deal and how I can help him. It’s like in the old song, I rue the day I ever met the guy.”
  • In the same interview on CNBC: “He’s the quintessential example of if you want a friend, get a dog.”
  • CNBC: “I wouldn’t invest with [Ackman] if [he] were the last man on earth.”

So to hear Icahn not only describe Ackman as not not smart but to compliment his “concept” was more than a little bit surprising. But why the about face? It’s possible it had something to do what happens at 2:58 here: Read more »