Billionaire hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman says his days of activist short-selling campaigns are over.
The founder and chief executive of Pershing Square Capital Management, who once led a bitter short-bet battle against Herbalife Nutrition Ltd., said in his company’s annual report Tuesday that the fund has “permanently retired from that line of work.”
““Despite our limited participation in this investment strategy, it has generated enormous media attention for Pershing Square. In addition to massive amounts of media hits, our two short activist investments managed to inspire a book and a movie. Fortunately for all of us, and as importantly for our reputation as a supportive constructive owner, we have permanently retired from this line of work.” ”
Ackman, who famously exited a $1 billion short bet on supplement maker Herbalife
— which he called a “pyramid scheme” — in 2018, after a protracted battle with activist investor Carl Icahn, said his company will instead embark on a new era of “quieter” and “thoughtful” investments.
He cited the past five years of “cordial, constructive and productive” interactions with the companies Pershing Square has invested in, and noted the hedge fund has not been involved in any proxy fights in that time.
“We intend to keep it that way as it makes our job easier and more fun, and our quality of life better,” Ackman wrote. “So, if it is helpful to call this quieter approach Pershing Square 3.0, let it hereby be so anointed.”