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Alternative Market Briefing

Pershing Square touts performance, holds on to Herbalife bet

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

Activist hedge fund manager Bill Ackman and his funds at Pershing Square finished the first half of the year on a positive note even if the market raised questions on Ackman's role in the Herbalife saga. The returns are especially notable as the fund hit its ten year mark this year.

"Over the last ten and one-half years, we have generated net returns to our investors of 626.7% or 7.3 times day-one investor capital. Over the same period, the S&P 500, our principal benchmark, as it has historically comprised most of our holdings, has returned 118.8% or about 2.2 times. Expressed as a compounded annual return, the funds have returned 21% net per annum versus 8% for the S&P 500," Ackman wrote in his latest quarterly letter.

To date, Pershing Square has only had two down years - 2008 and 2011. Since then, the firm has pushed through on several high profile bets including Herbalife and JC Penny.

In the letter Ackman goes on to note the benefits of activist investing - "The good news is that the opportunities for shareholder activism are only limited to the extent all corporations optimize their business models, operations, and capital allocation and become efficiently priced by the markets. We believe that corporate inefficiency and security mispricing will continue for the foreseeable future and present a continued rich opportunity set for Pershing Square. "

In terms of opportunities, notably the letter calls out Allergan ......................

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