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Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management sells 7.3 million Beam Inc shares

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February 1
12:43 PM 2014

William Ackman, the hedge fund manager of Pershing Square Capital Management, divested 7.3 million Beam Inc shares this week, Reuters reported citing a regulatory filing. Ackman lessened his holdings of the liquor unit just about three weeks after the company's price surged on the news of Japan-based Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd's planned takeover, the report said.

Based on a filing submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, January 31, Ackman's hedge fund firm first sold 6 million shares of common stock on Thursday, January 30, at a price of $83.28 and then divested another 1.3 million shares of common stock on Friday at a much higher price of $83.36.

At the end of the third quarter, Pershing Square was the single biggest shareholder in Beam Inc, holding 20.8 million shares. In 2011, the liquor unit was spun out of Fortune Brands. The share price of the Jim Beam and Maker's Mark maker went up 25% on January 13 after Suntory made a cash offer of $13.6 billion for the company, the report said.

From its previous holding of 12.7%, this week's divestments now trimmed down the holding of Pershing Square to 8.3% of Beam's outstanding shares. Ackman's investment in Beam Inc bore fruits this month after he and his investors was able to make around $375 million in a single day after the news about the planned takeover broke out, the report said.

Ackman is known as an activist investor that makes investments in only 12 firms or less at a time. He also begins to withdraw his investments after reaching particular targets. He started to pare his investments in Canadian Pacific Railway last year. The investment was a big gainer in Ackman's portfolio, the report said.

Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management is valued at $12 billion, Reuters reported.

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