Published On: Fri, Jul 4th, 2014

Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Holdings Up 26% in the Last Six Months

The world may still be in the throes of the Great recession, but not Pershing Capital.

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Wouldn’t we all like to get a look inside of billionaire investor Bill Ackman’s crystal ball? His Pershing Square Holdings has risen 26.4% in the first half of 2014 alone. It rose 2.4% in June.

The gains contrast starkly from the previous year when the fund incurred losses due to Ackman’s bets on Herbalife and the retailer J.C. Penny. But this year its holdings in Canadian Pacific, Air Products & Chemicals and Burger King Worldwide provided Pershing with big gains. And if Ackman’s maneuvers regarding the pharmaceutical giant Allergan succeed then Pershing will reap even more profits.

Pershing is Allergan’s largest shareholder and its stock has risen more than 50% since the start of a takeover bid by rival Valeant.

It remains to be seen, however, if Ackman’s decision last year to sell Herbalife short will pay off. He is currently embroiled in a feud with that company’s management over his attempts to expose it as a pyramid scheme.

Pershing Square currently holds an estimated $14.7 billion in assets.

Now Ackman is planning on taking an offshore hedge fund that he controls public. The initial public offering will be held in London, according to a report in the New York Post. Ackman is forgoing a New York IPO because US law does not allow for hedge funds to be publicly traded.

This fund is currently valued at $3.1 billion, but Ackman is waiting for it to reach $4 billion in assets before he takes it public. It was formed in 2012.

William A. Ackman is the founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management LP. He was raised in Chappaqua, New York, has a Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from Harvard College class of 1988 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1992.

His philanthropic activities include supporting the Center for Jewish History to preserve Jewish genealogy, which he helped to retire a $30 million debt. He has also donated $1.1 million to the Innocence Project in New York City and Centurion Ministries in Princeton, N.J. who investigate the cases of people who have been wrongfully convicted

Ackman has signed The Giving Pledge in which he has committed to give away at least half of his wealth to charity.

The 48 year old investor has an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion.

In 2004, Ackman founded Pershing Square Capital Management with $54 million in funding from his personal fortune and an investment from Leucadia National. The fund is known for taking activist positions in major companies, such as McDonald’s and Wendy’s.

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