Bill Ackman Has Made An $800 Million Killing On Bankrupt Commercial Real Estate

Bill Ackman

While U.S. commercial real estate fears are ubiquitous, some people are making big money from the panic.

Turns out that Bill Ackman’s Pershing Capital has already made $800 million in paper profits off of its debt and equity positions in the commercial real estate investment trust General Growth Properties (GGP).

Financial Times: “It is a classic good-company, bad-balance-sheet operation,” said Jeff Aronson, co-founder of Centerbridge Partners.

Mr Ackman began accumulating his GGP position in November 2008, said a person familiar with the fund. He spent $50m on stock – priced at under a $1 a share at the time – that is now worth $560m. He invested $100m in unsecured debt now worth $400m. Centerbridge holds $300m in GGP unsecured debt, purchased when it was trading for 30-odd cents on the dollar, a person familiar with the fund said.

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