Ackman Says Pershing Fund ‘Just Turned Positive’ for the Year

  • Activist investor said fund is ‘well off the bottom’
  • Ackman also said he’s converted Herbalife short to put

ADP CEO Says Ackman Battle Based on Pace, Risk

Bill Ackman says Pershing Square Capital Management’s private fund has turned positive for 2017 after a rocky couple of years for his investors.

“We are well off the bottom,” Ackman said in an interview Wednesday on CNBC. “We’re more than 20 percent plus off the bottom. We just turned positive for the year, which is progress.”

The private fund, Pershing Square LP, lost more than 16 percent in 2015 and nearly 10 percent in 2016, according to a person familiar with the matter. The fund has been hurt primarily by a $4 billion loss on its investment in drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.

Ackman said the hedge fund still has a ways to go, but emphasized his faith in the portfolio and its investments, including Automatic Data Processing Inc. The activist investor is waging a proxy fight for three board seats at the payroll outsourcer. Shares in ADP are up 4 percent since Pershing disclosed its 8.3 percent position in stock and options in August, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“ADP is our biggest investment,” Ackman said. “It is an extremely attractive risk-reward.”

Ackman also said he’s recently converted his entire short position in Herbalife Ltd. to a put position, and now has a “modest” investment in the nutritional-supplements company. Ackman has spent years sparring with billionaire investor Carl Icahn over Herbalife and repeatedly called the company’s business model a pyramid scheme. Herbalife has rejected Ackman’s claims.

— With assistance by Simone Foxman, and Katherine Burton

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