(Adds details on performance, background)
BOSTON Aug 4 Billionaire investor William
Ackman's Pershing Square Holdings has risen 27.2 percent this
year, according to an investor in the fund, after extending its
gains modestly last month when many hedge fund managers suffered
The Pershing Square Holdings fund inched up 0.6 percent in
July. Performance at Ackman's $15 billion firm has long been
watched closely, but never more so than now as he fights to seal
a deal between drug companies Allergan Inc and Valeant
Pharmaceuticals International Ltd. He also periodically
presents new information to underscore his argument that
nutrition and diet company Herbalife Ltd is running a
pyramid scheme, something the company denies.
Performance numbers from other fund managers, including
Daniel Loeb's Third Point, which fell 1.2 percent last month but
remains up 4.7 percent year to date, show that July was a tough
month for many hedge funds. The broader stock market sold off
late in the month amid growing fears about U.S. interest rates
and geopolitical concerns.
This year's returns rank Ackman among the industry's best
performers and underscore just how much his portfolio has
recovered from a year ago, when his short bet against Herbalife
and a failed long position on retailer J.C. Penney took a bite
out of returns. He exited the Penney bet in August 2013.
Meanwhile, holdings such as Air Products & Chemicals Inc
and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd fared well last month.
The last few weeks have been eventful for the activist
investor. He publicly ended a long-running feud with rival Carl
Icahn with a hug, and a week later choked back tears during a
fizzled presentation on Herbalife, when he called the company a
criminal enterprise and compared it to drug dealers, failed
energy company Enron and the Nazis.
On Friday, Botox maker Allergan accused Ackman, its biggest
investor, of breaking insider trading laws while working with
rival Valeant Pharmaceuticals.
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Chris Reese and