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Ackman Pledges Support For Actavis Bid On Allergan

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Allergan, Inc.'s (NYSE: AGN) long-running rumble with Bill Ackman got officially called off Tuesday when the activist investor said he supports a $219 a share winning bid by Actavis plc (NYSE: ACT).

Ackman, part of a tag team that included Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE: VRX) had offered $180 per share for Allergan and a shareholders' vote had been slated for December 18.

Ackman apparently made his first public comments on the Actavis bid to CNBC Tuesday in support of the Actavis bid.

But Actavis' success was already clear early Monday, when Valeant Chief Executive J. Michael Pearson said that “Valeant cannot justify to our own shareholders paying a price of $219 or more per share for Allergan.”

Ackman's Pershing Square hedge fund will gain as much as $2.6 billion in profit on its 9.7 percent stake in Allergan, according to various reports, while Valeant can bank on to $440 million.

Allergan sued Ackman and Valeant earlier this year for alleged insider trading in the deal. A federal judge recently declined to block the special shareholders' meeting, although Allergan's appeal of that decision is still pending.

New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin said Tuesday the suit will get dismissed.

But Ackman and Valeant's tactics "at minimum, leave investors with a questionable taste in their mouths about fairness of the markets, given the special access certain investors were able to secure," Sorkin wrote.

Posted-In: Andrew Ross Sorkin Bill Ackman New York TimesNews Hedge Funds M&A General


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