Inside these posts: Activist investor

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Adidas, Nike tee up for Fortune golf unit

Initial takeover offers for Fortune Brands’ golf unit are expected to be submitted today by a range of bidders, including Adidas AG, Nike Inc and private equity firms, sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.

Fortune Brands said in December it would split off its golf and home products units under pressure from activist investor William Ackman.

Fans of Bill Ackman boost Howard Hughes shares

Since U.S. mall owner General Growth exited bankruptcy last month, its stock has gotten a nice lift. But shares of its less noticed spin-off, Howard Hughes Corp, have really soared.

Since General Growth issued about $2 billion worth of shares at $14.75 in mid-November, the mall owner’s stock price has grown more than 6 percent — trading around $15.70 on Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile, Howard Hughes’ thinly traded shares have gained nearly a third, or 32.8 percent, in roughly the same period, now trading around $54.45. Get the full story »

Icahn raises stake in Motorola to 11.3%

Activist investor Carl Icahn has increased his stake in Schaumburg-based Motorola Inc. to about 11.3 percent, up from a 10.7-percent holding he disclosed at the end of August.

In filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Icahn said he spent about $120.9 million to buy 15.2 million additional shares of Motorola on Tuesday. Get the full story »

Analysts cautious after Fortune up on Ackman news

Fortune Brands’ shares surged 13 percent on Friday on the news that William Ackman’s firm Pershing Square Capital Management had purchased an 11 percent stake in the company. But the stock’s ebullience has given some analysts pause.

Peter Lisnic of Robert W. Baird downgraded Fortune’s stock on Monday morning from “outperform” to “neutral,” saying that the stock is now priced higher than its peers.

“Our rating adjustment reflects current valuation metrics that are now at a material premium relative to blended peer group multiples,” he wrote. “While [Fortune] remains well positioned in its end markets, and execution during the recession and housing downturn has been superb, current valuation metrics would appear to discount a stronger macroeconomic recovery than we believe is likely, particularly in U.S. housing construction markets.” Get the full story »

Busy Ackman adds 11% stake in Fortune Brands

Investor William Ackman (Reuters)

Activist investor William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management confirmed it has built an 11 percent stake in Fortune Brands Inc. and said it plans to discuss the future of the business with the consumer conglomerate’s board and management.

Pershing, in a 13-D filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said that it believes Fortune shares are undervalued and that it plans to also have discussions with other shareholders.

Fortune shares on Friday closed 7.4 percent higher, at $55.85.
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