Ackman's Pershing Square Funds Gain 1% In April
05/03/2012| 02:12pm US/Eastern
--Pershing Square funds counter average hedge funds' decline in April
--Average long/short equity hedge funds lost 0.6% last month
--Proxy advisory recommended Canadian Pacific investors vote in Ackman's favor
(Updates with long/short equity hedge funds' average return in April in the second paragraph and ISS's recommendation in the last paragraph.)
By Amy Or
Bill Ackman's $11 billion Pershing Square Capital Management L.P. posted a nearly 1% gain for its funds last month, despite choppy equity market conditions.
The $4.8 billion Pershing Square L.P. fund and the $6.5 billion Pershing Square International fund both returned 0.9% in April, bringing year-to-date gains to over 10%, according to the hedge fund manager's letter to investors. Long/short equity hedge fund managers lost 0.6% last month when the Standard & Poor's 500 index declined by 0.7% in April, according to the Dow Jones Credit Suisse Core Hedge Fund Index. Managers' 2.0% year-to-date gains trailed the index's 11.2% rally since the start of the year.
The April gains likely included profits from selling down Family Dollar Stores Inc. (>> Family Dollar Stores, Inc.) and Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc. (>> Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc). Pershing Square sold its entire stakes in the two companies in April, according to a filing to the Securities & Exchanges Commission.
Ackman still owns shares in eight other companies, according to its quarterly fund holdings filing for the period ended Dec. 31, including Citigroup Inc. (>> Citigroup Inc.), Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP).
The activist hedge fund manager is currently engrossed in a bitter proxy fight with Canadian Pacific Railway in a bid to elect seven new directors to the company's 16-person board and install Hunter Harrison as the rail company's chief executive.
On Thursday, he received a significant vote of confidence as proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services recommended investors vote in favor on Ackman's director slate at Canadian Pacific's annual meeting on May 17. The endorsement will likely sway votes Ackman's way as many large institutional investors take voting directions from ISS and other proxy advisory firms.
-By Amy Or, Dow Jones Newswires; +1 212 416 3142; email@example.com