Bill Ackman Retires From Activist Short-Selling

Pershing Square CEO Bill Ackman officially decided to hang up the hat on activist short-selling, following a long hiatus of Wall Street campaigns that led to some sizeable losses.

In Pershing Square’s annual report published on Tuesday, Ackman revealed he will no longer embark on “noisy” activist short-selling, and instead focus on a more laid back approach to investing. “Despite our limited participation in this investment strategy, it has generated enormous media attention for Pershing Square. In addition to massive amounts of media hits, our two short activist investments managed to inspire a book and a movie,” the billionaire investor wrote.

“Fortunately for all of us, and as importantly for our reputation as a supportive constructive owner, we have permanently retired from this line of work.” Ackman’s decision to finally forego such vocal campaigns comes several years after an infamous public crusade against nutrition company Herbalife, which he accused of being a pyramid scheme. In fact, Ackman’s vendetta against the company went as far as a heated on-air exchange with Herbalife bull Carl Icahn on CNBC, which ultimately laid the inspirational groundwork for Scott Wapner’s book “When the Wolves Bite: Two Billionaires, One Company, and an Epic Wall Street Battle.”

“We exited because we believed that the capital could better be deployed in other opportunities, particularly when one considered the opportunity cost of our time,” Ackman explained. “The aphorism that you ‘don’t need to make it back the way you lost it’ has always resonated with us.” As a result, Pershing Square will focus on a long-term strategy, one that involves more “quieter” bets.

“The result is that all of our interactions with companies over the last five years have been cordial, constructive, and productive. We intend to keep it that way as it makes our job easier and more fun, and our quality of life better. So, if it is helpful to call this quieter approach Pershing Square 3.0, let it hereby be so anointed,” he said.

Information for this briefing was found via Pershing Square. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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