Ackman and Burkle Agree to Disagree over America's Illiteracy Trends
Even as Barnes and Noble posts a scary -7.7% comp store number for the "holiday" period, two major holders play hot potato with a big chunk of the retailer's equity. Ackman's Pershing Square announced on January 9 that it has liquidated its 12% stake in BKS, a few days after Ron Burkle shelled out $67 million for 8.3% of the common stock. While it is not initially clear how critical Bill Clinton's advice was when making the investment decision, it is expected that Burkle will leverage his relationship with the teamsters by giving every long-haul trucker half-off deals on Danielle Steel romance novels and Hillary's autobiography. The market rewarded BKS stock with a 25% hike after the supermarket billionaire's stake was announced, however those gains may be lost Monday when the market digests Bill's abdication. While Pershing's retreat may arise from redemption requests, the fund has obviously not lost its hope that America will stop reading evidenced by its 17.5% stake in Borders. As for Yucaipa, it is still not very clear what the fund's strategy for world domination is: according to Bloomberg its public fund currently has holdings in supermarket staples A&P and Whole Foods in addition to BKS. On the private side, Yucaipa's distressed investments in car carriers Allied Holdings and PTS, as well as Wonder Bread maker Interstate Bakeries, have had mixed results at best...
Looks like BKS is trading down $1.00.