Bill Ackman Thankful For Chipotle Burrito Bowls, Board Seat

The Ack-Man and the troubled burrito chain are finally settling for each other.
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The last couple of years have been hard on Bill Ackman, to say the least. He’s lost almost half the money he used to manage through redemptions and drawdowns. Whereas in the past, only about half of the things he touched turned to lead, now it’s everything. His rekindled friendship with the much more successful Carl Icahn has foundered. Even apparent victories, like the FTC calling his ultimate enemy a pyramid scheme in all but name, manage in his hands to become defeats. His many, many enemies are lining up and all-but buying tickets to his inevitable fiery demise. Even today, there’s more bad news from one of the 11 names in his portfolio. (You'll never guess which one.)

AckmanChipotle

Prosecutors charged the two executives — Andrew Davenport, the chief executive of the mail-order pharmacy Philidor Rx Services, and Gary Tanner, an executive at Valeant Pharmaceuticals International — with multiple counts of fraud and conspiracy for what prosecutors described as a multimillion-dollar scheme to enrich themselves.

Suffice it to say, Bill needs a win in the worst way. And it looks like he’s about to get it from his newest love, Chipotle, which means he can enjoy his Thanksgiving burrito stuffing without worrying about any special additives.

The Denver company and Mr. Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management LP, which disclosed a 9.9% stake two months ago, have been discussing changing the board and could reach an agreement soon, according to people familiar with the matter….

A settlement could head off a potentially expensive and distracting public fight over the board, which shareholders, analysts and governance experts say hasn’t properly performed its role of overseeing and guiding management, especially during a food-safety crisis that has hobbled the company’s sales and performance for over a year.

This being a Bill Ackman-owned company, however, the news cannot be all good.

Three consumers are suing Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., alleging the restaurant chain’s menu misrepresents the nutritional value of its food products and provides more calories than advertised.

Now that’s a serious allegation, one that undoubtedly has the lab work to back it up, right? Uh….

Based on its menu board, Desmond bought a chorizo burrito at the Chipotle restaurant on San Vicente Boulevard in Los Angeles on Nov. 3 believing that it contained 300 calories, the suit states. But after consuming the product, Desmond “felt excessively full and realized that the burrito couldn’t have been just 300 calories,” according to the complaint.

Chipotle, Ackman Near Settlement [WSJ]
Former Valeant and Philidor Executives Charged in Kickback Scheme [NYT]
‘Seinfeld’ for real? Burrito calories—not yogurt—more than advertised in Chipotle lawsuit [My News LA]

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