One of the worst chapters of Bill Ackman’s investing career is officially over.
After roughly two years, Ackman’s Pershing Square has sold its entire position in Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc VRX at a significant loss.
Valeant shareholders have endured a seemingly endless stream of bad news since Ackman joined the mix. The company's questionable business model, pricing and ties to specialty pharmacy Philidor eventually led to an SEC investigation. Shares have plummeted from all-time highs of $263 in mid-2015 to as low as $11.36 this year.
Ackman took his original 19.5 million-share stake in Valeant Q1 of 2015. According to FactSet, Valeant shares averaged $177.37 that quarter.
CNBC reported that Ackman sold his final shares in Valeant at around $11, a decline of 93.7 percent from his original purchase price. In total, Pershing Square lost a nearly incomprehensible $4 billion on the trade.
Related Link: Ackman To Investors: Hard Times Will Pay Off
The Valeant position nearly single-handedly dragged down Pershing’s main fund’s performance in both 2015 and 2016. The fund delivered a double-digit loss in both years. Valeant weighed heavily on Pershing’s Q1 2017 performance as well, plummeting more than 25 percent year-to-date. Shares are trading down another 10 percent following news of Ackman’s departure.
As a recognizable and vocal public figure, Ackman has nowhere to hide from the debacle. Pershing highlighted possibly the only silver lining to the Valeant ordeal in a brief statement.
“We elected to sell our investment and realize a large tax loss which will enable us to dedicate more time to our portfolio companies and new investment opportunities.”
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