William Ackman is a master indeed.
With his initial public offering of stock in sight and listing on the Amsterdam stock exchange just ahead, the activist hedge fund manager is reporting stunning performance and is having what can only be described to this point as a charmed year.
Ackman’s Pershing Square gains 31.5% in September
Ackman’s Pershing Square L.P. is reporting a 31.5 percent gain through September, when it added to its returns with a 1.4 percent rise in value, Reuters is reporting, citing an investor in the fund. The fund had gained 40.8 percent year to date on a gross basis, but after fees of nearly 25 percent hit the returns, the net was 31.5 percent. The late month selloff in stocks in Septermber hit many funds, who posted negative returns. But Ackman’s special glow rose above a negative market environment.
That glow was apparent as Ackman announced Wednesday he had raised more than $3 billion in an initial public offering on his company, which will be listed on the Amsterdam stock exchange later this month. The offering price was $25 per share, giving the fund a $6.2 billion valuation and providing Ackman dry powder to target larger game. By bringing the firm public, Ackman has a more permanent capital base as opposed to fund investors, who can pull their money from the fund.
Trading in Pershing Square Holdings is expected to begin on Oct. 13, according to a report. The fund was started in 2012 and targets large cap stocks in North America.
Ackman could go on an activist spree in 2015
While 2015 has been a stellar year for Ackman overall, moves the activist is currently making indicate 2015 could be the year he goes after much larger companies – firms generally considered too large for an activist to influence.
Activist investors are getting larger and are likely to become a growing threat to previously difficult to influence US mega-corporations, the next stage in activist hedge fund investing, say hedge fund sources close to the situation, a growing trend previously documented in ValueWalk.
This notion is re-enforced by the news that activist investor Dan Loeb, founder of the activist hedge fund Third Point LLC, recently raised $2.5 billion with apparent ease. Other activists, including Jana Partners, Trian Fund Management, are preparing war chests to attack larger corporate targets.
The activist investing strategy has not only become the hedge fund world’s most profitable strategy, but also it’s most feared. Corporate executives are documented to change their long term plans at the behest of powerful activist investors, who are known to intimidate senior management and elite board of director targets.