Bill Ackman sells 14% of Valeant shares, citing tax purposes
- Bill Ackman, CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, has sold roughly five million shares of Valeant since December 23, aiming to reduce the tax burden in two investor accounts.
- Pershing Square Capital Management's stake in Valeant fell to 8.5% from its previous 9.9%.
- Ackman has long been a passionate backer of Valeant, even as the company's fortunes have tumbled. Valeant's stock price has declined by 61% since its high in August 2015.
Through the sale of Valeant stock, Ackman secured tax savings for the two accounts in question. The sale created an annual loss which can be used to reduce investor's tax burden. Two other accounts retained their stake in Valeant.
Ackman started selling off shares on December 24, 2015, one day before Valeant disclosed CEO Michael Pearson's medical leave due to severe pneumonia. The selling continued throughout the week.
On the last day of 2015, Valeant closed at $101.65 and has continued to fall in early trading Monday.