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.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Reduction in Zoetis stake - Healthcare stock

Bill Ackman’s activist hedge fund, is selling part of its stake in health-care company Zoetis Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

Pershing Square offered shares in the company for sale Monday, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. Credit Suisse Group AG and Bank of America Corp. managed the sale, the people said.

A block trade of 16.9 million Zoetis shares was offered Monday at $46.75 to $47.00 a share, a separate person familiar with the process said. Zoetis fell as much as 3 percent in after-market trading. At the top end of the price range, the stake would be valued at about $794 million.

Pershing Square executive disclosed last month that it would not ask Zoetis to re-appoint William Doyle as a director and that his term would expire at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on May 12. Doyle is a member of Pershing Square’s investment team.

In November 2014, Pershing Square disclosed it paid $1.5 billion for an 8.5% stake in the company saying Zoetis could cut costs to boost profits. The stock is up 8.6% since the firm first became involved in the stock.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Bill Ackman joins Valeant board in a shakeup with a new CEO


Valeant Pharmaceuticals attempted to put the worst of its problems behind it on Friday, announcing a shakeup of its board and filing a long-awaited annual report where it promised significant changes to its strategy and better oversight of its executives. It blamed senior managers for problems that have sent the stock down more than 80% since August and that put the company at risk of defaulting on its debt. 

The company will also soon have a new CEO, Joseph Papa, Perrigo Co’s former CEO, who was hired this week to take over from Pearson next month and will join the board as chairman. The change also brought activist investor Bill Ackman to the board.