Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman didn’t manage to make Valeant into a successful hunter, so one wonders, with his $3.3 billion stake, as reported by Reuters, will he make Valeant, like he did Allergan, the hunted?
Ackman’s well-publicized battle over Botox-maker Allergan last year ended with Allergan being taken over, but not by Valeant, the company he wanted to swallow up Allergan. Even though his game plan wasn’t followed to the letter, he did manage to gain a large amount by the fact that Allergan, in which he owned a significant stake, was bought, but by Actavis.
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The pull and push in the drama that ensued caused Ackman’s position to rise, and the result was that he finished the year with a 40% return.
So will Ackman do his activist investor magic on Valeant? Although that magic often involves a tug of war instead of waving a magic wand. As Valeant’s fifth largest shareholder and his working alongside the company in its quest to take over Allergan, there doesn’t seem to be hostility between them.
Valeant’s spokeswoman, Laurie Little, said, “We have a good working relationship with Pershing Square and we welcome them as shareholders.”
But could Ackman do to pharmaceutical company Valeant what he did with Allergan? Or does he simply think Valeant is a great stock?