It's over: Ackman sells his Target shares

  • Article by: DAVID PHELPS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 17, 2011 - 9:27 PM

William Ackman, who spent millions trying to change the face of Target's board of directors, sold the last of his shares in the retailer.

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johnnycgoodMay. 17, 11 9:15 AM

"Both Ackman and Target spent an estimated $21.1 million total on the battle."....and the lawyers said, "thank you".

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lmockMay. 17, 11 9:28 AM

Someone enlighten me. WHY was he trying to do this? What was his agenda? Bad article that doesn't outline what sort of activist he is, etc.

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bildo69May. 17, 11 9:49 AM

In the 1980's, folks in Mr. Ackman's line of work were known as corporate raiders (e.g. Icahn, Pickens, Gordon Gecko). They rebranded themselves as "activist shareholders" in the 2000's. Ackman wanted Target to divest its real estate holdings into a separate trust to generate a huge lump-sum and a lifetime of lease payments. A possible negative consequence of this is the cash balance attracting a buyout by private equity.

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gopherfan93May. 17, 11 9:55 AM

This story tells me nothing. It's worthless. What was he an activist for ......... world peace??

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dgmcpMay. 17, 11 9:57 AM

Obviously a GOP activist. Control big businesses, control the flow of money AND then you can influence elections to push your pro-business anti-citizen agenda as the zealots shop the isles of these retailers helping them out in your own demise. Pushing whatever agendas they want and caring not in the least bit for the lives they trample under foot. Job? Sure they have jobs? Will that be paper or plastic?

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urbanfanMay. 17, 11 9:59 AM

Imock - I asked myself the same question. What was his agenda, Star Tribune?

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cindaleMay. 17, 1110:19 AM

The article tells you what he was doing. Plus there is a timeline link on the right side of the page. His goal was to take control of Target Corp so he could sell off their assets - inflate his stock price and then dump the stock making millions of dollars. That's what Ackman does for a living. His next target is the JCPenny company. Good for investors. Bad for the company.

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jablumpkinMay. 17, 1110:35 AM

Ackman is in the business of making money. The Target board fought with him and stock has almost 9%. I think if the board would have followed Ackaman's vision, the retailer would be battling with Walmart in a fair fight...but without the $5 Billion Ackman was trying to raise there has been no expansion, no chipping away at Walmart's lead. Oh Well at least they have a fancy downtown corporate HQ!

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shuckMay. 17, 1110:41 AM

In this case activist doesn't mean he was pushing for world peace, to save the whales, or to elect a specific political party. This type of activism is focused on "increasing shareholder value" which very often means front-loading one time profits (which aren't discounted like future profits are). Often this is at the expense of the long term best interests of the company, though with under performing companies such a shakeup can be a good thing.

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notaverageMay. 17, 1110:56 AM

Imock, His entire interest appeared to be maximizing shareholder value. Since he was a significant shareholder, he wanted a more active say in how Target tried to improve its bottom line. In a way, it's similar to someone who grows his or her savings enough that s/he moves the money to an investment firm where s/he can help direct how the money is invested. Bottom line: his plan was to get Target to make changes that would have increased his (and other shareholders') personal wealth.

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