BOSTON, July 1 Activist investor William Ackman
has hired Credit Suisse in his fight to have Valeant
Pharmaceuticals acquire Botox maker Allergan Inc.
, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management owns 9.7 percent
of Allergan and has been working with Canada's Valeant for
months on an acquisition of Allergan in what would be, based on
current value, the biggest deal of the year.
"Pershing Square has hired Credit Suisse for advice," said
the source, who was not permitted to discuss the move publicly.
The move is the latest twist in a heated battle between the
two pharmaceutical companies and Ackman, one of the hedge fund
industry's most closely watched investors.
Allergan has steadfastly rebuffed Valeant's overtures,
refusing to sell itself for $53 billion, while Ackman is working
to call a special meeting of Allergan shareholders in order to
elect new directors to the company's board.
Credit Suisse traditionally has helped defend companies
against activist investors like Ackman who often acquire a big
stake in a company and then agitate for change.
The corporate battle has already been playing out in unusual
Pershing Square and Valeant received a boost last week when
influential hedge fund manager John Paulson's Paulson & Co
bought more than 6 million shares of Allergan and threw its
weight behind the proposed takeover.
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Paul Simao)