Big name investors take sides on Ackman bet on Valeant -filings
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
BOSTON May 15 (Reuters) - Wall Street's savviest investors are picking sides on Bill Ackman's new bet on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, with BlueMountain Capital and T. Rowe Price adding money, while Viking Global Investors and Jana Partners cut stakes.
With its stock up 56 percent since January, the Canadian company is giving new and existing investors plenty to cheer about. In the last 52 weeks, it has risen 80 percent, outperforming both the S&P 500 Index and the Pharmaceuticals sub-index. The shares closed at C$270.02 ($224.63) on the Toronto stock exchange on Friday.
When the serial acquirer bought Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd earlier this year, some investors were tempted to get in on the mergers and acquisitions boom now sweeping the drug industry.
T. Rowe Price bought an additional 2.3 million Valeant shares, raising its stake 12 percent to 20.1 million shares at the end of the first quarter, according to filings made on Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Hound Partners increased its stake by 22 percent and reported holding 2.6 million shares on March 31.
BlueMountain Capital Management raised its bet 356 percent during the first quarter, buying 723,682 shares to boost its stake to 926,919 shares.
Adage Capital Management listed a new position of 50,000 shares, according to SEC documents.
Big backers ValueAct Capital and Ruane Cunniff & Goldfarb largely kept their positions unchanged at 19.3 million and 34.3 million shares, respectively. Continued...