August 30, 2018 / 9:42 PM / a year ago

Ackman's Pershing Square cuts stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill

The logo of Chipotle Mexican Grill is seen at the Chipotle Next Kitchen in Manhattan, New York, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

(Reuters) - Activist investor William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management has cut its stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (CMG.N) to 7.4 percent, paring an investment that has helped the hedge fund post gains after three years of losses.

Pershing Square Capital Management held a 10 percent stake in the Burrito chain as of March 3, 2017.

Ackman, who bought the stake in 2016 for an average cost of $405, helped install Brian Niccol as chief executive of Chipotle in February.

Since then, the stock has gained 92 percent through Thursday’s close of $483.99.

The company’s shares were down more than 1 percent at $478.60 after the bell.

A Pershing Square representative declined to comment.

Chipotle has been struggling to regain its reputation following a series of food safety lapses in 2015 that sickened customers with E. coli and salmonella and the recent outbreak of illness at its restaurant in Ohio.

Reporting by Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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