Ackman Exits Mondelez With Cuts in P&G, General Growth

Bill Ackman, the activist investor who left J.C. Penney Co.’s board this week, reported that his hedge fund sold all of its 5.98 million shares in foodmaker Mondelez International Inc. and cut stakes in Procter & Gamble Co., General Growth Properties Inc. and Matson Inc.

Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management LP slashed its fund’s holding in P&G by 68 percent to 8.94 million shares in the second quarter ending in June, according to a filing today. The fund sold almost all of its stake in transportation company Matson, reducing it by 2.83 million shares to 202,913, and reduced its General Growth stake by 6.94 million shares, to 67.8 million.

The investor bought a $1.8 billion stake in P&G about a year ago and pushed for the replacement of Chief Executive Officer Bob McDonald. McDonald stepped down in May after the company struggled to rekindle growth while losing market share to rivals. At General Growth, Ackman helped rescue the shopping mall owner by urging it to file for bankruptcy, which it did in 2009, when he also assumed a board seat.

Ackman stepped down as a director at J.C. Penney after publicly calling for a faster permanent CEO search and for the ouster of the board’s chairman. In a separate filing today, Pershing Square reiterated it held a 17.7 percent stake in the retailer and noted Ackman’s resignation from the board on Aug. 12 was “the result of a disagreement” with the board.

Pershing Square also today said its fund had a holding in Air Products & Chemicals Inc., the industrial-gas producer, of 10.1 million shares. Last month, Ackman said he amassed a 9.8 percent stake in the company.

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