Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bill Ackman links to Zoetis

The Wall Street Journal reported last night that Valeant Pharmaceuticals had made a "preliminary approach" to buy Zoetis, which specializes in animal vaccines. Zoetis' market capitalization was around $25 billion on Thursday before the report about the rumored talks.

The suggestion became even stronger when Ackman picked up a stake in Zoetis and a seat on the company's board.

The Journal's sources said Ackman and his partner on the investment, Sachem Head Capital Management, were said to be pushing for cost-cutting measures and consideration of potential buyout offers. Ackman's firm, Pershing Square Capital Management, teamed up with Valeant last year when it made an unsuccessful hostile bid for Allergan. The fact that he has stakes in both Valeant and Zoetis may suggest to some that he could have a hand in the former's offer for the latter.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Bill Ackman invests in Nomad Foods of UK

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management has revealed a large equity stake in Nomad Foods, a London-based special-purpose acquisition vehicle (SPAC) created to acquire food businesses across Europe. The Ackman-led $20 billion hedge-fund management firm paid $350 million to acquire a 21.7 percent stake in Nomad Foods, Forbes reports.

Nomad Foods was co-founded by Noam Gottesman and Martin Franklin last year in London. The company rapidly moved to acquire several European food companies. Last month the firm bought the frozen-food company Iglo Foods for $2.9 billion. Iglo is Europe’s largest frozen-food producer. In 2014, frozen-food giant controlled estimated 3.3 percent of the global frozen-foods business. After buying Iglo, Nomad Foods was reportedly in talks to acquire another big frozen-food manufacturer, Findus. A combination of Iglo and Findus could create a huge frozen food empire with a wide product range.

The details of the recent transactions relating to Nomad Foods were revealed in a filing made in the London Stock Exchange. According to the disclosure, Pershing Square crossed the 20 percent threshold in the UK-based acquisition vehicle on May 26.

Bill Ackman founded Pershing Square Capital Management in 2004. The 49 year-old hedge fund manager has made some high-profile investments in large corporations including McDonlands, JC Penney and Target Corporation.