Activists quiet down

Fri Jun 26, 2009



Event-driven funds are on the rebound but have left the bullhorns behind.


Event-driven funds are on the rebound but have left the bullhorns behind

By Chris Gillick

Just as the biggest-ever activist investor - the U.S. government - has emerged, taking giant stakes in Chrysler, General Motors and American International Group, a number of private activists are, ironically, stepping back. Take Bill Ackman, founder of $4.5 billion Pershing Square Capital Management.

On May 28, Ackman lost his high-profile shareholder proxy fight with Target. Failing to win even one of four board seats for which he submitted a slate of candidates, the normally outspoken, telegenic fund manager has decided to lie low.

"You should expect that we will do our best to fade into the sunset as far as the media is concerned until such time as an investment opportunity requires us to work more closely with the press," Ackman wrote in a June 8 letter to investors. "We hope such time is...

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