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Bill Ackman Just Did It By Doing Nothing

Is the Ack-Man finally learning the joy that comes from being passive?

Like a tulip bending its hungry bud towards the sun, yearning for the nourishment of hope and warmth of spring after having barely survived the dark frozen existence of a winter spent underground, Bill Ackman is finally back in bloom!


William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management LP cashed out of its brief holding in Nike Inc. in recent weeks, for a profit of around $100 million.

It's a tidy little victory for a man that had come to forget what those felt like. And perhaps best of all, Ackman's sneaker-based ransom is coming from what appears to be a new philosophy...

The activist had taken the stake in the fourth quarter, it disclosed in January, but Pershing Square intended to keep it as a passive bet on a company it believed was undervalued. After the stock jumped some 32% from Pershing Square’s purchasing costs, it sold the stake, people familiar with the matter said.

The old Bill Ackman would have gotten over-involved with Nike; demanding more influence, trying to ban Phil Knight from company offices and likely telling the press that Nike would be best served by forgetting about all sports that aren't tennis. But the old Bill Ackman had become bad at making money and/or friends.

The new Bill Ackman is apparently not a sham. He really might be that bearded chill bro walking through Midtown, ignoring investors and the media to focus on great stock picks. We can already imagine the montage of Bill embracing his new life; going to yoga, experiencing the magic of the subway, smiling as he helps a toddler get back on his scooter after a fall, drinking Matcha in the West Village, moving his Bloomberg Terminal against the wall of his office to make space for his meditation rug, going to see "Black Panther" and then back in his office opening his one eye to see a pair of dope-ass Nike tennis sneakers in the corner and letting a blissful smile of transcendent understanding spread across his relaxed face.

"But how are we going to optimize the investment, Bill?" asks an eager portfolio manager to a Baja hoodie-clad Ackman.

"By doing nothing, my man," replies Ackman as he puts on a pair of sunglasses. "Just let Nike be Nike and we'll be us. Gotta go, my Barre class starts in 10."

Just do it, Bill. Do, nothing.

Pershing Square Cashes Out of Nike Stake [WSJ]


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