Pershing Square Poised To Profit From Beam Sale

Jan 14 2014 | 11:53am ET

When Pershing Square Capital Management has been in the news lately, it's mostly been bad: huge losses and humiliating setbacks in major investments, such as J.C. Penney Co. and Herbalife. But the New York-based hedge fund has actually been riding a winning streak lately.

Despite roughly $1 billion in losses on Penney's and Herbalife, Pershing Square's other investments soared at the end of last year, leaving it up over 10% through November. Now, it's poised to make $342.5 million on yesterday's deal between distillers Suntory Holdings and Beam Inc.

Pershing Square owns 12.8% of Beam, which makes Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbon, Laphroaig Scotch, Courvoisier cognac and Cruzan rum, among other spirits. Suntory's $16 billion offer for Beam sent the latter's shares up 25%—and could earn Pershing Square even more if it sparks a bidding war.

And Pershing Square's William Ackman isn't just a prescient investor who saw value in Beam shares—his efforts helped create the company. Beam is what remains of Fortune Brands, whose breakup Ackman championed. Indeed, Pershing Square has already done well from the sale of Fortune's golf business and the spin-off of its home products business. The firm's share in Beam is currently worth about $1.7 billion; it paid only $765 million for its Fortune stake in 2010.


In Depth

An Interview With Harvest Volatility Management's Rick Selvala

Mar 23 2017 | 5:39pm ET

Several years of extremely low interest rates have pushed some investors into equities...

Lifestyle

'Tis the Season: Wall Street Holiday Parties Back In Fashion

Dec 22 2016 | 9:23pm ET

Spending on Wall Street holiday parties has largely returned to pre-2008 levels...

Guest Contributor

SEI: Private Debt Coming Into Its Own

Mar 8 2017 | 9:24pm ET

The explosive growth of private debt over the past few years has caused the lines...

 

From the current issue of