Ackman Says Valeant-Allergan Deal Looking Up

Jul 23 2014 | 10:13am ET

Pershing Square Capital Management founder William Ackman might not think much of the market’s reaction to his underwhelming Herbalife Inc. presentation yesterday, but he’s buying what it’s selling on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International’s hostile bid for Allergan Inc.

Ackman said this week that the likelihood that Valeant will succeed has increased. The  hedge fund manager, who is working with Valeant on the deal, cited the narrowing spread on the proposed merger as evidence that investors believe Valeant will win, in spite of Allergan’s recent moves to cut costs in an effort to stop the takeover.

The spread on the deal was 3% on Monday, down 50 basis points, Ackman said.

On Friday, Valeant complained about Allergan’s attacks on it, saying it has brought the matter of the Botox maker’s “false and misleading statements regarding Valeant’s business” to the attention of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the securities regulator in Québec, where it is headquartered. Valeant said that Allergan’s claim that its Bausch + Lomb business is stagnant or declining aren’t true.

Allergan, which has called Valeant a serial acquirer whose business model is unsustainable, shot back that Valeant should “report complete and transparent details on its business on an ongoing basis.”

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