Bill Ackman’s emails with Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger on Valeant (VRX) – this is fun stuff! via WSJ Also, updated with full video embedded below
Recently, Charlie said the following about Mike Pearson and Valeant: ‘Valeant is like ITT and Harold Geneen come back to life; only the guy is worse this time.’ While I have enormous respect for Charlie, I think he has gotten this one wrong. Charlie’s words carry a lot of weight so his statement is unfortunate if Charlie is wrong on the facts which I believe to be the case. There is a lot of misinformation about Valeant in the marketplace, particularly in Charlie’s home town, as a result of the Allergan takeover battle.
We have gotten to know Valeant and Pearson well over the last year and believe that the company is creating real value while helping to restructure part of an industry that has not been a good steward of shareholder capital or productive in generating products to contribute to the health of humanity. Your friends at Ruane Cunniff are Valeant’s largest shareholders, having held the stock for years, and hold Mike Pearson in extremely high regard. I believe Jorge Paolo personally became a shareholder of Valeant after I arranged for him to meet Mike last year. We own 5.7% of the company.
The reason for the email is that I would love to set up a meeting where you and Charlie could meet Mike Pearson and ask him anything you would like. Mike is an extremely direct person and would welcome the opportunity to address any and all of Charlie’s or your concerns. I think you would find his insights on the state of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry invaluable. He is not seeking an investment from either you, Berkshire or Charlie; rather, Mike would like the opportunity to clear his reputation in response to Charlie’s recent comments.
Please let me know if I can set up a date to make this happen.
I saw Charlie’s remarks a couple of days ago and am not surprised that Mike is upset. None of this came from me, and I know that Bob Goldfarb and others at Ruane Cuniff think well of both Valeant and Pearson.
You can get in touch with Charlie at xxxxxxx. He may or may not respond. I’m not sure I could give a good guess. But I don’t want to get into the picture myself on this. Charlie always makes up his own mind, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. It won’t be easy to change.