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Ackman Owned Sprout Stake Before Ally Valeant Bought Drugmaker

Investor Bill Ackman, who allied himself with Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. in a drug-industry takeover battle last year, held a small stake in the company Valeant agreed to acquire this week, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Ackman acquired less than 1.5 percent of Sprout Pharmaceuticals Inc. in its most recent round of funding, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing a private matter.