At one point last year Bill Ackman, who had created an entirely separate fund to express his exbuerance in retailer Target, and created a standalone fund PSIV to invest in the same name, was down 99% at the point the fund was unwound. Many had hoped the supposed retail genius' bad luck would end there. Alas, no. Another stock in which Pershing Square now owns 37%, is on the verge of filing bankruptcy. And apparently it can't even afford to hire a decent financial restructuring advisor. According to reports, traditionally creditor-side advisor Jefferies has been retained to represent the company, while Jones Day is legal counsel. Look for a bankruptcy filing in the next week and for another wipe out for Mr Ackman.
Borders Group tapped Jefferies & Co as its financial adviser as the book seller pushes publishers to extend repayment schedules and looks for new sources of liquidity. The company hired Jones Day as its attorney in 2009 and the law firm is still understood to be working with Borders as it plots a possible restructuring.
We still have some of the paperbacks that Ackman used to regale his investors with, demonstrating his retail acumen when he was seeking lambs for the LP slaughter in PS IV. Luckily, investments in more recent paperback fiction such as Target and GGP are for the time being, faring better, although considering the start of the retail decline so aptly predicted by Howard Davidowitz, those who have ridden the mall train with Bill, are strongly urged to get off at the next station.