So activist investor Bill Ackman got roundly slapped down in his effort to get board representation on the Target (TGT), wasting more than $10 million in the process.
The media likes guys like Ackman cause he’s an activist going after an supposedly “entrenched” board and that always makes for a good story.
But come on, Ackman — who’s already blown plenty of investor money by making a levered long bet on Target at exactly the wrong time — wanted the company to do more with its real estate and credit card businesses. That would’ve been absolutely brilliant two years ago, if the company had monetized its holdings during the peak of the credit and real estate boom, but at this point it’s a snoozer of an idea, if not spectacularly mis-timed.
If Ackman had really understood Target going in, knowing that they were sitting on some overpriced businesses on the precipice of a credit and consumer bust, then the play would’ve been to short Target. As it is, his current ideas were tired and late.