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Morning Brief: Pershing Square Liquidating its Nomad Stake

Nomad was one of Pershing Square’s best performing investments in the first half of this year.

  • By Stephen Taub

Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P. is selling up to 33.3 million shares of Nomad Foods in a public offering, according to an announcement made by the food company best known for brands such as Birds Eye, Iglo, and La Cocinera. Nomad is not selling any shares in the offering. Nomad was the second biggest contributor to Pershing Square’s first half performance, according to a financial report published by the activist hedge fund firm. “Nomad continues to make significant progress with its ‘focus on the core’ strategy under CEO Stefan Descheemaeker,” Pershing Square told investors in its first-half report, adding that the company raised its guidance for the year. In response to the news, Nomad’s stock fell 4.5 percent on Wednesday, closing at $14.25. Even so, the stock is still up nearly 50 percent for the year. Pershing Square Holdings, the hedge fund firm’s public fund, lost 8.7 percent in August and is down 8.9 percent for the year through September 5.

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ValueAct Capital bought another 6.6 million shares of KKR between August 22 and September 5, boosting its stake in the private equity pioneer to 7.5 percent. It paid between $18.42 and $19.07 for the shares. Even so, shares of KKR on Wednesday fell slightly to close at $18.31. The stock is down about 6 percent since peaking a month ago. At a conference in late April ValueAct president Mason Morfit said the firm owned 4.9 percent of the shares, asserting the stock was worth closer to $37 per share. Last month ValueAct said it has held discussions with management and the board and expects to hold future talks. The topics covered included business management and operations, capital and asset allocation, corporate structure, mergers and acquisitions strategy, compensation, and corporate governance, among other issues. ValueAct added it had similar conversations with other shareholders or interested parties, such as industry analysts, existing or potential strategic partners or competitors, investment professionals, and other other investors.

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Christian Leone’s Luxor Capital Group disclosed that as of August 23, it owned 5.9 million shares of La Quinta Holdings, or 5 percent of the hospitality company. The hedge fund did not own any shares of the company at the end of the second quarter. The investment was filed as a 13G, so it is passive.

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Tiger Global Management led a Series B funding of Allbirds, raising a total of $17.5 million. The sustainable shoe start-up is known for its ecologically-friendly wool shoes. The company currently sells its products on the internet but is reportedly planning to open brick and mortar locations.

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