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Opinion
Matt Levine

Bill Ackman Found a Cheap Way to Buy More Valeant Stock

Sometimes you have to scrape together a couple of hundred million dollars. Sometimes it's less.

"The biggest regret I have with Valeant is that we’re not in a position to buy more," said Bill Ackman on a conference call earlier this month, but he solved that problem just a couple weeks later. In October, when Valeant's stock first plunged on rumors about its specialty pharmacy business, Ackman had bought about 2.1 million shares for his Pershing Square funds, for a total of about $232 million.  And that was the limit: He would have liked to buy more, but he was tapped out. As he said on his four-hour call about Valeant in October:

But now his fund, Pershing Square, "has increased its stake in Valeant to 9.9 percent," making it "the second-largest shareholder in the company behind the Sequoia Fund." It revealed yesterday that it had added 12.5 million shares, or almost $1.1 billion worth at yesterday's $87.41 closing price, over the course of last Friday, November 20, and yesterday, November 23.