Pershing Square Executive Doyle to Leave Zoetis Board

  • William Doyle to leave board when term expires in May
  • Activist hedge fund discloses change in regulatory filing

Pershing Square Capital Management, the activist fund run by billionaire Bill Ackman, said that one of its executives would be leaving the board of animal-healthcare company Zoetis Inc.

Pershing Square disclosed Friday, in an amended 13D regulatory filing, that it would not ask the company to re-appoint William Doyle as a director and that his term would expire at Zoetis’s annual shareholder meeting on May 12. Doyle is a member of Pershing Square’s investment team.

“Pershing Square is pleased with the issuer’s progress in implementing its previously announced initiatives to simplify operations, improve cost structure, and better allocate resources,” the firm said in the filing.

Ackman took an 8.5 percent stake in the Florham Park, New Jersey-based company in 2014, saying Zoetis could cut costs to boost profits. The company settled with the activist, agreeing to add Doyle and Actavis Plc Chairman Paul Bisaro to its board.

New York-based Pershing Square typically buys large stakes in a handful of big companies it views as trading below intrinsic value, and agitates executives and directors to make changes to boost shareholder returns. In October 2014, a public fund called Pershing Square Holdings Ltd. began trading in Amsterdam with the same portfolio as the hedge fund.

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