William Ackman, investor and activist stated that the Pershing Square Capital Management acquires a stake of 9.8 percent in the Air Products and Chemicals Inc (NYSE:APD) a week after the producer of industrial gas took a takeover defense.
Valued at $2.2 billion, the stake has made Ackman’s firm the largest shareholder in the Air Products Company. The shares gained four percent prior to the bell.
The Air Products investment has a $22.14 billion market capitalization and is the biggest investment ever by Ackman.
Last week the shareholders of Air Products poison pill, was unusual activity in the stock.
The current shareholders have the right to purchase discounted shares if any group or person acquires 10 percent of the total company with no board approval.
The rivals of Air Products include France’s Air Liquide SA (AIRP.PA), Germany’s Linde AG (LING.DE) and Praxair Inc (NYSE:PX) that supply helium and hydrogen and they operate in the markets of semiconductor materials such as natural gas liquefaction.
The purchase by Pershing Square is pushing for operational improvements instead of breaking up Air Products according to the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
The investment by Ackman in Air Products occurs after the billion dollar assumption that Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) shares would fail. The supplement and nutrition maker shares have actually increased 33 percent in the previous month.
There are other stocks held by Pershing Square in their portfolio that have performed very well, also, including Howard Hughes Corp (NYSE:HHC), Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd (NYSE:CP) and Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG).
The shares of Air Products have increased 26 percent this year and actually closed at a price of $105.61 on the New York Stock Exchange at the close of sales on Tuesday.