Ackman's Pershing Square Dips -0.7% in May; YTD Loss Slips to -18.6%

Jun 3 2016 | 9:31pm ET

Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Holdings posted a negative return in May, pushing the hedge fund manager’s 2016 YTD loss to 18.6%.

Pershing Square lost -0.7% during the month, despite some stabilization in its highest profile investment, beleaguered Canadian drug company Valeant Pharmaceuticals. The loss follows a 10.2% rebound in April.

Other private Pershing Square portfolios, which use less leverage than Pershing Square Holdings, are down roughly 15% YTD, according to a Reuters article citing an unidentified person familiar with matter.

The firm’s concentrated portfolio remains long 11 positions and short one, Ackman’s infamous bet against Herbalife. He recently became much more active in steering Valeant's fortunes, joining the company’s board earlier this year and helping choose a new CEO.

Although its share price has stabilized in the $27-$28 range, Valeant's travails have continued; the company defaulted on some debt earlier this week due to delayed financial statements. Nonetheless, Ackman described the firm as the “most contrarian stock investment you can own” back as recently as March, and by all accounts remains committed to his position.  

Pershing Square Holdings is a publicly listed proxy for Ackman’s Pershing Square LP hedge fund. He raised $3 billion when he listed Pershing Square Holdings as a permanent capital vehicle in Amsterdam in October 2014. 

As of May 31, the net asset value per share of Pershing Square Holdings was listed as $17.07, compared to a price per share of $15.58 on that date. 

Pershing Square Holdings directly manages approximately $4.25 billion, while the total invested in the strategy via all Pershing affiliates, including Ackman’s flagship hedge fund Pershing Square LP, was around $12.3 billion at the end of March. 

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