Bill Ackman

And that’s why, despite Carl Icahn’s comments about him in the past, Bill Ackman is ready to take their newfound friendship to the next level (and why Icahn, who Ackman once described as a liar who takes advantage of little people probably feels the same way). Read more »

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 »

Last Thursday, in an interview with CNBC, Carl Icahn said something so shocking that the only logical explanation for the words passing his lips was that he’d been drinking (which he had). With cameras rolling, Icahn told David Faber, of fellow hedge fund manager Bill Ackman: “We have our differences, but I never said he’s not a smart guy. I think the concept of this [bid with Valeant to buy Allergan] 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.” That Icahn had anything remotely nice, much less complimentary, to say about Ackman was so surprising because since 2005, following a disagreement over an investment, the men have shared feelings for one another that can be summed up thusly: they hate each other. You know this, I know this, the maître d’ at Marea knows this. And yet there Icahn was, saying nice things about a guy who in the past he’s called, via press release, a shitty investor for whom he has no respect; who he’s described, on CNBC, as “the crybaby in the school yard“; and who he’s sworn, in at least one interview, that he’d never invest with again. (For his part, Ackman has called Icahn a liar who “takes advantage of little people,” whose offer of friendship he didn’t have to think twice about before turning down.)

What made Carl change his tune? Was it more than just the booze? For now, that remains unclear. What is clear is that someone was watching and was touched by the comments, martini-fueled or not. Because less than 48 hours later, this happened: 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]