Issue Date: August 5, 2013
Hedge Fund Eyes Air Products
Pershing Square Capital Management has acquired a 9.8% stake, valued at about $2.2 billion, in industrial gas supplier Air Products & Chemicals. The hedge fund, run by high-flying investor William A. Ackman, has made noteworthy gambles in recent years, including a large stake in the department store J.C. Penney and a bet against the nutritional supplements maker Herbalife. In a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, Pershing Square says Air Products stock “is undervalued and is an attractive investment.” Air Products responds that it “will thoroughly review constructive input from shareholders as part of its commitment to increasing shareholder value.” The week before the Pershing Square stake was disclosed, Air Products adopted a shareholder rights plan, known as a “poison pill,” to prevent any one investor from holding more than a 10% stake in the company.
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