Ackman Says Closing Herbalife Would Be 'Greatest Achievement'

Jun 4 2013 | 11:41am ET

Pershing Square Capital Management founder William Ackman has said that shutting down Herbalife, the nutritional supplements company that he has called a pyramid scheme, would be a high point in his life.

Ackman told the Financial Times, during an interview ostensibly about the Pershing Square Foundation's £4.5 million gift to Oxford University's business school, "If I manage to close down that company I will consider it the greatest achievement of my life."

Ackman in December opened a $1 billion short against Herbalife, reopening a decade-long feud with Carl Icahn, who is now backing the company. Herbalife has denied Ackman's allegations.

And while it may not be his greatest achievement, Ackman has turned a tidy profit on his investment in Canadian Pacific Railway, which he seized control of last year. Pershing Square said this week that it would sell a quarter of its CP shares over the next six to 12 months, which at Monday's closing price would earn it a roughly US$600 million profit.

CP shares have tripled in value since Ackman bought his stake.

Even after the sale, Pershing Square will be CP's largest shareholder.

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