Ackman Reveals 22% Stake in Food-Company Acquirer Nomad

Pershing Square Capital Management, the activist hedge fund run by billionaire Bill Ackman, disclosed it owns almost 22 percent of Nomad Holdings Ltd., a company established to acquire food businesses.

Ackman’s funds bought about 33 million shares of Nomad, according to a filing Tuesday. On Monday, London-listed Nomad completed its first acquisition -- the 2.6 billion euro ($2.9 billion) purchase of European frozen food group Iglo Foods Holdings Ltd. from private equity firm Permira.

Ackman discussed Nomad in his May 4 presentation at the Sohn Investment Conference in New York. The entity was co-founded by Martin Franklin and Noam Gottesman last year, announced its “anchor investment” in Iglo in April, and “intends to use this asset as a base for future food industry acquisitions,” according to Ackman’s Sohn presentation.

The co-founders “look forward to building on Iglo Group’s market-leading position and to expanding into new and adjacent categories through disciplined M&A activity,” Gottesman said in a statement Monday. He also noted that Nomad’s new management and “supportive shareholder base provide us with the resources necessary to pursue growth opportunities.”

Francis McGill, a spokesman for Pershing Square, declined to comment beyond the public materials.

Ackman typically buys large stakes in a handful of big companies and agitates for changes and transactions. Pershing Square’s holdings include drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., animal-health company Zoetis Inc., Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., Air Products and Chemicals Inc., as well as mortgage backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He is also waging an aggressive short campaign against Herbalife Ltd.

In October, a public fund called Pershing Square Holdings Ltd. began trading in Amsterdam.

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