Billionaire investor Bill Ackman hopes to close his mega SPAC deal within weeks – and called his target an ‘iconic’ business

bill ackman
Bill Ackman.

  • Bill Ackman is hoping to close his massive SPAC deal in the next few weeks.
  • The investor trumpeted his chosen target as an “iconic, phenomenal” business.
  • Ackman’s PSTH vehicle has been working to buy a piece of it for six months.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Bill Ackman hopes to close his mammoth blank-check deal in a matter of weeks, he revealed at The Wall Street Journal’s “The Future of Everything Festival” on Wednesday.

The billionaire investor said his team has identified an “iconic, phenomenal, great business with a great management team that meets all of our criteria.” They have been working since early November to buy a piece of it, he added.

The hedge fund manager listed Pershing Square Tontine Holdings, a special-purpose acquisition company or SPAC, on the stock market last summer. Its goal is to spend about $5 billion for a minority stake in a private business and take it public.

The nature of its chosen target, the complexity of the transaction, and various other issues have delayed the process, the Pershing Square Capital Management boss said. However, he believes the company in question is so attractive and interesting that it will be “worth the energy and the effort.”

Ackman reiterated that PSTH’s goal is to buy a “super-high quality, durable, growth business.” He paraphrased a famous quote by his mentor Warren Buffett to make his point.

“What we’re looking for is a business that you can own for the next decade,” Ackman said. “The stock market could shut and you would have enormous confidence the business would be worth multiples of the price you pay today.”

Ackman now believes he’s close to securing a stake in that kind of company, but cautioned the deal could still collapse. “We’re either gonna get a transaction done in the next relative short term – weeks – or we’ll be onto the next one,” he said.

The Pershing Square chief made other notable comments at the virtual festival. His hedge fund has sold its Starbucks stake and bought about 6% of Domino’s Pizza, he revealed.

Ackman also cautioned that the recent spike in inflation might not be temporary, and predicted the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. Moreover, he described cryptocurrencies as a “brilliant technology” but said he wasn’t comfortable owning a meaningful amount of them.

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