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TORONTO, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman said on Thursday his lawyers have seen documents that he said show Allergan's board knowingly misled investors as part of a defensive strategy to stave off prospective buyer Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.
Ackman said he had not yet reviewed the documents himself, and did not give any copies of them to reporters, whom he was speaking to on the sidelines of a conference. Reuters could not independently verify his claim.
Allergan representatives were not immediately available for comment.
Ackman told reporters in Toronto: "We believe they put those statements out, that they knew that they were false at the time they made them, and we have found evidence to that effect, that this was a conscious takeover defense strategy to malign Valeant and the company."
In September, Valeant Chief Executive Officer Michael Pearson wrote to Allergan alleging that it was making "baseless attacks" about his company. Allergan Chief Executive David Pyott and lead independent director Michael Gallagher said at the time that the company relied on its knowledge of Valeant and of the industry to express concerns about Valeant's business model. (Reporting by Alastair Sharp and Allison Martell; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Chizu Nomiyama)