“How does Bill Ackman do it” is a question the investing community surely asks itself on a daily basis. Three words: Berkshire Mountains hideaway. Outsiders may figure in-depth research combined with skillful and ethical activism and a highly concentrated portfolio are the keys to Pershing Square’s success but, really, a 100-acre spread in upstate New York is the engine that drives this firm.

Specifically, the one found in Chatham, New York, that Ackman “scraped together the money” to buy in 2003, just months before his second act hedge fund launched, to arguably more success than its predecessor, Gotham Partners. Coincidence? Bill doesn’t think so. “This place has really good investing karma,” Ackman tells us. (Since buying the house, Pershing has had 21 percent compound returns. You do the math.) Is this information relevant in any way to your universe? If you’ve got $5 million to spare, a yen for sweeping views of the Berkshire mountains, and a desire to pump up lackluster returns it might be.

Despite spending many a happy (and profitable) weekend at the place over the last nine years, Ackman has with great reluctance and probably more than a few tears decided to put it on the market, having precious little time to make the (quick and painless!) trip up now that his three children have many an extracurricular commitment to tend to. According to Bill, he’s offering you “the deal of a lifetime” (and, in our professional opinions, we agree), when you consider 1) what he bought it for ($3.2 million, then put another $1.5 million in) and 2) what you’re getting. Things like: Read more »

  • 08 Oct 2009 at 10:15 AM

Who Wants Free Wendy’s?

frosty.jpgToday’s your lucky day! Very supposedly, the PR firm that represents the purveyor of Frosties is sending a girl dressed as Wendy around to the “sell-side guys” who cover the company and is handing out $25 gift cards as we speak. Apparently she’s been to Neuberger Berman already, is on her way to JPMorgan and “has plans to make all the stops.” No idea who thought this would be a good idea but obviously the genius of this stunt will soon reveal itself. Her name is Melissa. Enjoy.

  • 30 Apr 2008 at 11:00 AM

Wendy’s Bloodbath

No surprise that, having won Wendy’s, Nelson plans to let the blades fly in today’s 13D/A filing. Still… ouch.

Agreement and Plan of Merger
On April 23, 2008, Triarc, Wendy’s International, Inc. (“Wendy’s”) and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Triarc (“Merger Sub”), entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger (the “Merger Agreement”). The Merger Agreement provides that, upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Merger Agreement, Merger Sub will be merged with and into Wendy’s, with Wendy’s as the surviving corporation (the “Merger”) and as a result of the Merger, Wendy’s will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Triarc. Pursuant to the Merger Agreement, each outstanding share of common stock of Wendy’s will be converted into 4.25 shares of fully paid and non-assessable shares of Class A Common Stock (the “Merger Consideration”).

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  • 24 Apr 2008 at 11:45 AM

Nelson Is Appeased

Following up on our exclusive, breaking, 13D news insight, we now bring you the news that after sufficient sacrifice on the activist altar, Wendy’s antagonist is, for the moment, appeased.
You can’t really blame Wendy’s for being a reluctant target. At one time the firm was expecting as much as $4 billion cash offers from potential suitors. Trian and Triarc (Peltz’ hedge funds) were offering just $900 million in cash and the rest in stock, or a combination with Arby’s.
Wendy’s to Unveil Deal With Peltz [WSJ]
Nelson Is Angry [DealBreaker]

  • 18 Apr 2008 at 9:08 AM

Nelson Is Angry: Your Instant 13D Report

Presented without Comment:

April 18, 2008
Mr. James V. Pickett
Chairman of the Board
Wendy’s International, Inc.
4288 West Dublin-Granville Road
Dublin, Ohio 43017-0256
Dear Jim:
I am writing to you in my capacities as President of Trian Fund Management, L.P. and Vice Chairman of Triarc Companies, Inc.
As a large shareholder of Wendy’s, Trian is very concerned about the current direction of Wendy’s. On April 17, 2008, Trian and Triarc were informed that the Wendy’s special committee had rejected two acquisition proposals made by Trian and Triarc. One proposal called for the combination of Wendy’s and Arby’s while the other involved an acquisition of 100% of Wendy’s for over $900 million in cash with the balance in stock. Our proposals would have required the approval of the shareholders on each side of the transaction and neither of the proposals was conditioned on the receipt of third party financing. Our most recent proposals were summarily rejected in less than 24 hours.

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