by: Spencer Israel, Benzinga Staff Writer
Bill Ackman has sold his entire position of Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc VRX.
Pershing Square, the activist investor's firm, has exited its 27.2 million share position at $11. Ackman will also step off the company's board. TheStreet's Adam Feuerstein and CNBC's David Faber were the first to report the news, as highlighted by Benzinga Pro. Pershing Square later confirmed the sale to Benzinga.
Pershing Square shortly after issued a press release which included a citation for the stake liquidation.
"At its current market value, the Valeant position represented 1.5% to 3% of the various Pershing Square funds; however, the investment required a disproportionately large amount of time and resources. As a result, we elected to sell our investment and realize a large tax loss which will enable us to dedicate more time to our other portfolio companies and new investment opportunities," according to Pershing Square.
At the end of 2016, Valeant represented approximately 5 percent of the fund's entire capital. In his quarterly letter to shareholders Ackman outlined reasons why he liked the stock, including that the company bolstered its management team and improved the average selling prices in its dermatology unit. He also noted that the company's commitment to reduce more than $5 billion in debt over the next 18 months would act as an "important catalyst for value creation and stock appreciation."
Shares of Valeant traded down 8 percent in after hours trading at time of writing.
© 2017 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.