Nike pops after billionaire activist Bill Ackman reportedly buys a passive stake

  • Shares of Nike popped as much as 2% in pre-market trading Friday after Pershing Square Capital, the $US12+ billion dollar hedge fund run by activist Bill Ackman, reportedly told investors it had acquired a passive stake in the company.
  • The size of the investment is unclear, as is timing, but Ackman reportedly said at the firm’s annual client dinner that it had already earned a 30% return for his portfolio.
  • The activist investor is known for increasing the share price of companies after announcing he’s acquired a stake. That’s true of Nike this time around, even though the stake is passive.
  • Pershing Square on Monday fired 10 employees – or 20% of its total headcount – as the hedge fund seeks to rebound from three years of losses related to failed bets on companies like Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Chipotle, and Herbalife.
  • Nike stock is up 1.23% in early trading Friday, and has gained 27% in the past year.

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