UPDATE 2-Ackman: Lawyers have documents purported to show Allergan misled on Valeant

Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:02pm EDT
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(Adds Allergan declining comment, share activity)

By Alastair Sharp and Allison Martell

TORONTO Oct 16 (Reuters) - Billionaire investor William Ackman turned up the heat on Allergan Inc. on Thursday when he accused the Botox maker's board of misleading investors to fend off a hostile takeover bid from Valeant Pharmaceuticals .

Ackman, whose hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management is Allergan's biggest shareholder, told reporters that his lawyers had seen documents that show Allergan's board knowingly released misleading statements about Valeant.

"We've actually found evidence that will come out in the next few days of attempts at manipulating Valeant's stock price down," Ackman said, noting that he has not seen that evidence because it has been marked as "highly confidential."

Valeant's New York-listed shares climbed 3.6 percent in afternoon trading. They have lost about 6 percent in often volatile dealings since Valeant bid for Allergan in late April.

Allergan's shares edged up 0.7 percent.

Allergan declined to comment and Reuters could not independently verify Ackman's claim. Allergan executives have previously said the concerns they expressed about Valeant were based on their knowledge of the Canadian company and the industry.

In an unusual alliance, even by hedge fund industry standards, Ackman has been working with Valeant for months to push the Botox maker into selling itself to Valeant. Allergan has steadfastly refused, calling Valeant's offer too low and looking for other partners to avoid a deal with Valeant.   Continued...