Bill Ackman Increases his Stake in GGP, Fires Back at Brookfield

Bill Ackman Increases his Stake in GGP, Fires Back at Brookfield
Bill Ackman Photo via InsiderMonkey, Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Appears to have taken up its latest activist campaign. Last time the target of William Ackman’s wrath was Canadian Pacific.

Bill Ackman Increases his Stake in GGP, Fires Back at Brookfield

This time Ackman is putting heavy pressure on Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE:BAM) (TSE:BAM.A) over its large stake in General Growth Properties Inc (NYSE:GGP). Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE:BAM) (TSE:BAM.A)  responded to Ackman’s compliants in an official press release.

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Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square has just filled a 13-D attacking Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE:BAM) (TSE:BAM.A)  with some very harsh langugage. Ackman states that Brookfield’s press release led to ‘inaccurate press and analyst reports and contributed to GGP’s Friday stock price decline.’

Ackman’s 13D filling shows that he has increased his stake in GGP. He now owns 8.0% of the company’s common shares, plus warrants and swaps, which he states account for a further 3.0% of his holding.

Ackman goes line by line through Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE:BAM) (TSE:BAM.A) ‘s press release and attacks each argument the firm has made. Ackman heavily disputes Brookfield’s statement that it is not acquiring General Growth Properties Inc (NYSE:GGP), noting:

Brookfield has been working continuously to put together a transaction to acquire GGP. Indeed, after several months of research and analysis, Mr. Flatt indicated to me this past Spring that Brookfield had completed all of the necessary legal, tax, and structuring work to execute a tax-efficient transaction.

Most investors we talk to believe that there is little which Ackman could actually do. They note that Brookfield owns 40% of General Growth Properties. They suspect that Ackman is trying to put pressure on the company to do something about GGP. Some have merely labelled this a publicity stunt by Ackman. This is breaking news we will be posting a more in-depth analysis shortly. (Disclosure: No position in any securities mention)

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