Valeant urges $54 bln deal with carrot, two sticks

June 2, 2014

The acquisitive pharma group raised its offer for Allergan again, if the Allergan board cooperates. Meanwhile hedgie Bill Ackman is threatening to unseat six directors – and Valeant could yet decide to go fully hostile. But questions over Valeant’s own stock remain its weakness.

Valeant’s sweetener comes off a little defensive

May 28, 2014

Upping its bid for Allergan to $49 bln disappointed investors on both sides. Using a messy financial instrument probably didn’t help, especially after the target rejected the deal math and compared its suitor to Tyco. Valeant needs to do more to reclaim the aggressor’s role.

Valeant can boost its $47 bln bid for Allergan

April 22, 2014

The pharma M&A machine, working with hedgie Bill Ackman, thinks it can cut $2.7 bln of costs from the Botox maker. At Valeant’s single-digit tax rate, that’s worth nearly $25 bln. And that’s just the start of potential benefits. The deal would add up with a much bigger premium.

Dawn raid makes comeback via activist drone strike

April 22, 2014

Agitators usually take a stake in a company and then try to make something happen. Bill Ackman has instead teamed up with Valeant Pharmaceuticals to grab a 9.7 pct interest in $40 bln-plus Allergan, with a hostile takeover ready for deployment. It’s a potent battlefield tactic.

Ackman gets closer to permanent capital grail

April 19, 2012

The activist hedgie’s planned $4 bln London-listed vehicle would dwarf other public funds, which often trade at a big discount to net asset value. The scale plus fee sweeteners may give Ackman an edge. And his focus on easily priced bets could shrink the NAV problem.

Replacing P&G boss may be Bill Ackman’s best hope

July 13, 2012

The uppity investor’s latest target is the Pampers-to-Crest giant. But traditional activist tactics like a breakup won’t work at the $178 bln company. New leadership might help get P&G back on track. Maybe Ackman could even recruit vaunted former CEO A.G. Lafley to help.

Ackman vs Icahn is an epic but pointless battle

January 25, 2013

A personal feud between the two New York billionaires has erupted anew. Though it’s emblematic of their approach to investing and escapist fun for financiers, the two men play important roles in the markets. Their aggressions are better directed at supine boards than each other.

Herbalife: the ultimate financial plaything

February 15, 2013

Carl Icahn is joining Bill Ackman and Dan Loeb in the war over the nutritional supplements seller. One idea of his is another Herbalife buyout. The controversial business model and rich cash flow make it easy for Wall Street to keep imprinting fresh narratives on the company.

Ackman’s new fund is off-Target – in a good way

July 9, 2013

Four years after eating humble pie for a bad concentrated bet on the U.S. retailer, the hedge fund boss is seeking $1 bln for another secret single-stock pick. Paying fees to invest blind in a listed company warrants skepticism. But Bill Ackman may have learned from his mistakes.

Bill Ackman’s plate-spinning act gets dangerous

August 13, 2013

The activist hedge fund boss is always ready for a fight – just maybe not so many at once. Ackman is embarking on a campaign at Air Products even amid high-profile tussles at P&G, Herbalife and beyond. Resigning from the J.C. Penney board is prudent for more reasons than one.