The year 2016 was a rough one for Bill Ackman, and 2017—occasional bright spots notwithstanding—isn’t shaping up much better. It’s not just the eye-watering losses and the humiliations, the sight of his oldest enemy at the president’s right hand (that’s his regulation-shredding hand). It’s that they’ve rattled the impervious sense of confidence that Ackman’s spent a half-century building. They’ve left him a shell of his former self.
Ackman knew what he needed: A filling, non-gastrointestinal-distress-causing burrito bowl and a fresh start in a new city: London. A town with a boundless future without angry storm clouds on the horizon, the kind of place that his native New York used to be before his recent string of, uh, difficulties. A place where he could reinvent himself, put his troubles behind him and find a new legion of adoring fans, fans who he hadn’t lost 94% on a bum pharma stock for yet.
A place, unfortunately, where they have the internet, and where Ackman’s reputation apparently preceded him.
Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Holdings has made a modest debut on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday, closing on the lows of the day with less than £1m worth of shares changing hands, as the investor talked up the attractions of his £3.6bn closed-end fund….
The shares closed in London yesterday at £12.20, a 15 per cent discount to the group’s most recently published valuation of its investments: predominantly nine large US listed groups and one “short position”, a so-far lossmaking bet against the value of the multi-level marketing company Herbalife, which Mr Ackman has campaigned to have shut down by regulators.