BUZZ-Valeant: Ackman, other hedges, starting to recoup

Wed Dec 2, 2015 12:30pm EST
 
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** The heavily scrutinized company's U.S.-listed stock has recouped more than 40 pct of its losses after hitting a more than 2-1/2-year low of $69.34 in mid-November

** The move has dramatically helped big name investors, including William Ackman, Jeffrey Ubben and John Paulson who rank among the five biggest owners

** Insiders say the gains are as mysterious, noting much of the panic selling by mutual funds in the last days of October may be over now and people are seeing value at this price

** On Wednesday, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc was trading down 1.5 pct at $97.26, a far cry from the record-high of $263.70 it touched in August

** Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management said on Nov. 23 it raised its stake in the drugmaker to 9.9 pct, or about 34.1 million shares. Pershing Square's average cost for the shares is now $150, down from $186, a source told Reuters

** Even though Pershing Square has still lost $1.8 billion on its bet, the firm could continue to benefit if share price recovers, as several big-name investors expect it will

** Two large investors told Reuters they expect the share price to be back near $200 within the next two years

** The company's woes were triggered by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's criticism in late September of "price gouging" in the industry

** The stock took a further beating when short sellers raised questions about the company's relationship with a specialty pharmacy