Pershing Square Capital Management will launch a listed hedge fund vehicle to raise permanent capital, founder William Ackman said yesterday.
"We will pick our moment, probably sometime in 2012," the noted activist said at the Harmonie Club in New York.
New York-based Pershing Square would not itself be going public, á la the Man Group, but raising money through a listed fund, like those run by Brevan Howard Asset Management. Investors cannot redeem from a closed-end fund—they cash out by selling their shares—meaning that Pershing Square would be spared a repeat of 2009, when investors yanked 27% of its assets.
Ackman did not say how much he hoped to raise, but he did offer his opinion on several investment opportunities in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
Ackman said he loves Citigroup, in which Pershing Square owns a 0.8% stake. Current stock prices for financial stocks "assume financial Armageddon."
Hewlett-Packed is another story. Despite several calls from HP investors "begging us to take a stake," Ackman won't touch the "big, complicated mess" with a 10-foot pole.
"Before I make an investment in something that requires 'brain damage,' or a lot of work and energy, I figure out how much money I can make," Ackman said. "And the higher the brain damage, the higher the profit has to be to justify it."