Thursday, November 3, 2016

Pershing Square relocating to Hell's Kitchen

Pershing Square Capital Management, the hedge fund headed by activist investor Bill Ackman, is relocating its headquarters to 787 11th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen.

According to the Georgetown Company, the firm signed a 15-year lease for 67,000 s/f in the building. The space will be occupied by Pershing Square and the Pershing Square Foundation, the family foundation headed by Ackman and his wife Karen. The firm is expected to move in by late 2017.

“Hell’s Kitchen is a great live, work, play community with wonderful restaurants, services, transportation options and entertainment,” said Adam Flatto, the CEO of The Georgetown Company. “This is a neighborhood that will continue to grow and we’re pleased to welcome Pershing Square to the building.”

The property, which once housed a car dealership, has been redesigned to Ackman’s specifications. The upper floors have been renovated to include a two-story penthouse with a private terrace and a tennis court. According to a previous report from Crain’s, the amenities were part of Ackman’s wish list for the new office. The space was designed by architect Rafael Viñoly.

The Georgetown Company partnered with Ackman and Main Street Advisors to purchase the building in 2015. The deal was valued at $255.5 million. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Sold entire stake in Canadian Pacific Railway

Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management LP is unloading its entire stake in Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., almost five years after sparking a turnaround at the company and becoming its biggest shareholder.

“Canadian Pacific has completed an incredible transformation since our initial investment in 2011,” Ackman said in a statement 

Pershing Square Capital Management has made no new large public investments for roughly a year. After dumping most of his position in animal health company Zoetis ZTS +0.67% this spring, Pershing Square is now exiting Canadian Pacific after a five year investment during which Ackman oversaw one of the great corporate turnarounds in recent memory. Ackman first invested in Canadian Pacific in the fall of 2011 with a plan to unseat the company’s management and bring in new leadership that could make the Calgary-based railroad more efficient. The play was a watershed for Ackman and hedge fund activists broadly. 

Canadian Pacific has been one of the Bill Ackman's biggest-ever winners, generating $2.6 billion in total gains, or an almost fourfold gain, according to public filings and a source familiar with the situation. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

New stake in Chipotle of almost 10 percent

Pershing Square Holdings Ltd., the hedge fund run by activist investor Bill Ackman, acquired a 9.9 percent stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and will seek talks with the beleaguered restaurant chain.

Pershing said it believes that Chipotle shares are undervalued and plans to discuss ways to improve the company’s operations, cost structure, management and strategy, according to a filing Tuesday. A stake of nearly 10 percent would make Pershing Square the second-largest investor in Chipotle, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The announcement sent the shares up as much as 8.7 percent to $450 in late trading. The stock had been down 14 percent this year through Tuesday’s close, hurt by the fallout from an E. coli outbreak last year. Based on the latest closing price, Pershing Square’s stake of 2.9 million shares would be valued at about $1.2 billion.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fidelity selling Herbalife stock is a good sign

In a recent SEC filing Fidelity Investments, the second largest investor in Herbalife, said it had cut its stake in the firm to 7.4 million shares, a 14 percent reduction from the 8.6 million shares it reported owning at the end of June.

“The fact that Fidelity is selling is a good sign. There is no longer a bull case to be made for this stock” said Bill Ackman, who has a $1 billion bet that Herbalife’s stock would collapse. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Herbalife considering stock buybacks to target shorts

Herbalife is scheduled to release its financial results for the second quarter of fiscal year 2016 after market closes on Wednesday, April 3. 

The global nutrition company considers pursuing stock Buybacks to pressure Bill Ackman, who has put a Short rating on the stock since 2012. In accordance with its decision to buy back its stock, the company is said to have signed an agreement with Bank of America and Merrill Lynch to buy back its common shares worth $266 million. Buyback is one of the many strategies that the company has considered to oppose short seller Bill Ackman. Other important options under the company’s umbrella include capital structuring and cash management.

This is not the first time that the company is opting for the Buyback option, as the last time it used this option was in fiscal year 2014. From FY07 to FY14, the company has approximately used $3.7 billion in repurchasing its stock. However, the last time it took this approach, it stopped paying dividends and instead sold convertible bonds to finance its efforts.