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First on CNBC: CNBC Transcript: Pershing Square Capital Management Managing Partner Bill Ackman Speaks with CNBC's Scott Wapner on "Closing Bell"

WHEN: Today, Monday, May 5th

WHERE: CNBC's "Closing Bell"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a FIRST ON CNBC interview with Pershing Square Capital Management Managing Partner Bill Ackman. Video from the interview is available at CNBC.com.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

SCOTT WAPNER: BILL ACKMAN JUST WRAPPED UP HIS PRESENTATION AND WALKED OVER HERE JUST FROM THE STAGE TO TALK TO US ABOUT WHAT HE SAID ON THAT STAGE IN THE ROOM NEXT TO US HERE. BILL, WELCOME. IT IS GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

BILL ACKMAN: THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

WAPNER: FANNIE AND FREDDIE. THE PLAN YOU LAID OUT. YOU HAVE POSITIONS IN BOTH OF THESE NAMES AND YOU HAVE HAD FOR SOME TIME. WHAT YOU SAID ON THE STAGE WAS THAT YOU THINK WE SHOULD REFORM FANNIE AND FREDDIE RATHER THAN WIND THEM DOWN.

ACKMAN: YES.

WAPNER: WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS THE RIGHT PLAN?

ACKMAN: I DON'T THINK THERE IS A – IF YOU WANT TO PRESERVE THE 30-YEAR PRE-PAYABLE FIXED RATE MORTGAGE WHICH IS ESSENTIAL TO PRESERVE HOUSING FINANCE IN AMERICA, THEN WE DON'T BELIEVE THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE TO FANNIE AND FREDDIE. THESE PRIVATE MARKET SOLUTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN TALKED ABOUT, WE DON'T THINK ARE FEASIBLE. THEY WOULD REQUIRE RAISING UPWARDS OF $500 BILLION DOLLARS OF NEW CAPITAL FOR A BUNCH OF START-UP ENTERPRISES. WE DON'T THINK THAT IS A FEASIBLE ALTERNATIVE. WE THINK THERE ARE ISSUES WITH FANNIE AND FREDDIE. WE THINK THEY LOST THEIR WAY BEGINNING, REALLY, IN THE 90S – EARLY 90S. THEY STARTED THIS FIXED INCOME ARBITRAGE BUSINESS, THEIR SO-CALLED INVESTMENT PORTFOLIOS. IT CREATED A LOT OF LIQUIDITY RISK FOR THEM. REQUIRED THEM TO ACCESS THE CAPITAL MARKETS. THEY REALLY ABUSED THEIR GOVERNMENT – IMPLIED GOVERNMENT BACKING. AND WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS RESTORE THEM TO THE WAY THEY WERE. WHICH WAS A BUSINESS OF SIMPLY GUARANTEEING INTEREST IN PRINCIPLE PAYMENTS ON MORTGAGE BACK SECURITIES. AND THAT BUSINESS IS A LOW-RISK BUSINESS AS LONG AS THEY STAY AWAY FROM SUBPRIME, SO-CALLED – AND OTHER MORTGAGES. WE THINK IF THEY DO THAT, THEY GO BACK TO THE CORE BUSINESS, THE SAFE BUSINESS OF GUARANTEEING MORTGAGES FOR MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICANS, THEY GET OUT OF THE FIXED INCOME ARBITRAGE BUSINESS AND CAPITAL REQUIREMENTS ARE RAISED, WE THINK ABOUT FIVE-FOLD, YOU'LL HAVE ENTITIES THAT WILL NOT REQUIRE ANY GOVERNMENT BACK STOP AND WE CAN CONTINUE TO HAVE THE LOWEST COST MORTGAGE MARKET IN THE WORLD.

WAPNER: THEY ARE MAKING MONEY HAND OVER FIST. THOSE OF YOU HEDGE FUND MANAGERS WHO HAVE GOTTEN INTO THESE STOCKS AWHILE BACK HAVE MADE A LOT OF MONEY OFF OF THOSE TRADES. THEY HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE BEST TRADES FOR YOU AS WELL AS OTHERS. THE ONLY PROBLEM IS THE GOVERNMENT HAS AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PLAN. WHETHER IT IS SENATORS CRAPO OR JOHNSON OR WARNER OR CORKER, THEY WANT TO WIND DOWN FREDDIE. WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THEY ARE EVEN GOING TO LISTEN YOUR IDEA?

ACKMAN: WELL I THINK THIS IS A TRIAL BALLOON, BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE GOVERNMENT IS GOING TO HAVE TO DO WHAT MAKES SENSE AND WHAT IS PRACTICAL. THERE ARE REALLY ONLY TWO ALTERNATIVES. YOU CAN HAVE AN EXPLICITLY GOVERNMENT GUARANTEED MORTGAGE MARKET, WHICH I THINK WOULD BE AT AN ENORMOUS OF COSTS, THAT WOULD REQUIRE FIVE TRILLION IN ADDITIONAL DEBT – ADDED TO OUR NATIONAL DEBT. OR YOU CAN HAVE A TRUE PRIVATE SECTOR SOLUTION WHICH WOULD BE A RECAPITALIZED FANNIE AND FREDDIE. AND OUR HOPE IS THAT BY SHARING OUR THESIS AND THE FACTS AND SOME ANALYSIS BEHIND IT, THAT THE POWER OF JUST THE FACTS WILL DRIVE PEOPLE TO MAKE THE RIGHT DECISIONS.

WAPNER: YOU HEAD TO WASHINGTON, I MEAN, FIGURATIVELY AND LITERALLY AND START SPEAKING WITH SENATORS ABOUT WHAT YOUR PLAN IS AND WHY IT WOULD BE VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TO THEIRS?

ACKMAN: YOU KNOW, WE'VE REALLY – YOU KNOW, 110 SLIDES. WE LAY OUT OUR THOUGHTS. WE PUT SOME REAL FACTS ON THE GROUND. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S NOT WELL UNDERSTOOD IS THAT THIS BUSINESS IS A NATURAL OLIGOPOLY. FANNIE AND FREDDIE HAVE ENORMOUS SCALE WHICH IS WHY THEY CAN CHARGE VERY LOW GUARANTEE FEES AND RUN A SAFE BUSINESS. THE PROBLEM IS THAT IN ORDER FOR A PRIVATE SECTOR SOLUTION TO START, YOU NEED TO EARN AN ADEQUATE RETURN ON CAPITAL IN ORDER TO ATTRACT CAPITAL AND THESE ENTITIES ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE SCALE WHEN THEY LAUNCH. AND IT IS GOING TO TAKE THEM A CENTURY TO GET UP TO THE CAPITAL OR GET UP TO THE SIZE OF A FANNIE OR FREDDIE. SO THEY WON'T HAVE THE ECONOMIES OF SCALE, THEY DON'T HAVE THE EXPERIENCE, THEY DON'T HAVE THE TRACK RECORD THEY DON'T HAVE THE SYSTEMS. IT'S REALLY NOT A PRACTICAL SOLUTION. WE DO THINK THERE'S A LOT TO BE SAID. IN SOME WAYS WE ARE WINDING DOWN FANNIE AND FREDDIE. WE'RE WINDING DOWN THE OLD VERSION OF FANNIE AND FREDDIE, THE FANNIE AND FREDDIE THAT GOT INTO TROUBLE AND WE'RE CREATING A NEW ONE. ALTHOUGH IN THIS CASE, WE THINK THE BRAND NAMES ARE VERY VALUABLE. AND WE WOULDN'T WANT TO GO AWAY FROM THE FANNIE AND FREDDIE BRAND NAMES BECAUSE THAT MAKES THEIR MORTGAGE-BACKED SECURITIES POPULAR AMONG SOVEREIGN – IN CHINA AND AROUND THE WORLD, THIS IS A PAPER THAT PEOPLE THINK OF ALMOST LIKE GOVERNMENT PAPER.

WAPNER: LET'S MOVE ON AND TALK ABOUT VALEANT AND ALLERGAN. THERE REMAINS AN AWFUL LOT OF CRITICISM ABOUT THE WAY YOU WERE ABLE TO BUILD YOUR STAKE IN ALLERGAN KNOWING THAT A BID WAS GOING TO BE COMING. YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. YOU'VE HEARD THE CRITICISM YOURSELF AND YOU'VE BEEN ASKED ABOUT IT. MARIO GABELLI, VERY WELL-KNOWN INVESTOR WAS ON "SQUAWK BOX" RECENTLY AND SAID THE FOLLOWING, "IT'S NOT FAIR. WHAT ACKMAN DID, IT'S KIND OF A TACTIC THAT NEEDS MORE EXPOSURE SO THAT IT DOESN'T HAPPEN AGAIN." WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO THAT? PEOPLE SAY IT WAS LEGAL FRONT-RUNNING OR LEGAL INSIDER TRADING. HOW DO YOU RESPOND?

ACKMAN: SURE. I THINK A WAY TO LOOK AT THIS IS TO SAY, WHO IS BEING HELPED AND WHO, IF ANYONE, IS BEING HARMED? EVERY INVESTMENT WE MAKE AS A SHAREHOLDER ACTIVIST WE HAVE A PLAN. SO IN CANADIAN PACIFIC, WE HAD HUNTER HARRISON IN OUR POCKET, IF YOU WILL. HE AGREED TO COME IN AND BE THE NEXT CEO OF THE COMPANY. WE BOUGHT 14% OF THE COMPANY FROM PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T KNOW WE HAD HUNTER HARRISON AND THEN WE DISCLOSED OUR STAKE IN THE 13-D. WE ANNOUNCED THAT HUNTER HARRISON WAS OUR CANDIDATE AND THE STOCK WENT FROM $60 TO $173 A SHARE. IT DIDN'T GO OVERNIGHT, BUT IT GOT THERE OVER TIME AND THE PERSON WHO SOLD TO US BETWEEN 46 AND 60, YES, PERHAPS THEY WOULD HAVE WANTED TO KNOW THAT WE HAD HUNTER HARRISON IN OUR POCKET, BUT IF AN ACTIVIST SHAREHOLDER CAN'T BUILD A STAKE IN ADVANCE OF ADVANCING THEIR PLAN, THERE WON'T BE ANY SHAREHOLDER ACTIVISM. IF YOU LOOK AT ALLERGAN IN PARTICULAR, LET'S THINK ABOUT THE ALLERGAN SHAREHOLDER. SO WE ONLY BOUGHT 9.7% OF THE STOCK SO 93.7% OF THE SHAREHOLDERS GOT 100% OF THE VALUE CREATION OF US WORKING WITH VALIANT TO PUT IN A PROPOSAL FOR THE COMPANY. SO FOR THOSE SHAREHOLDERS OF THE STOCK WAS 116.63, TODAY IT'S 168. I HAVE TO BELIEVE THE SHAREHOLDERS ARE VERY HAPPY AND IN FACT HAVE GOTTEN A LOT OF CALLS FROM ALLERGAN SHAREHOLDERS WHO ARE VERY HAPPY.

WAPNER: I'M SURE THE SHAREHOLDERS ARE HAPPY. YOU'RE HAPPY AND ANYBODY WHO HAS BEEN IN THE STOCK IS HAPPY.

ACKMAN: THE STOCK WE BOUGHT BETWEEN 0% AND 9.7% OF THE COMPANY, WE PUSHED THE MARKET PRICE UP OVER THAT PERIOD OF TIME. SO A BUNCH OF SHORTER TERM INVESTORS GOT A BETTER PRICE THAN THEY WOULD HAVE HAD WE NOT BEEN INVOLVED. SO EVERYONE GOT A BETTER PRICE. WE CATALYZED A TRANSACTION THAT WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED. VALIANT HAD TRIED TO ACQUIRE THE COMPANY OVER THE PREVIOUS 18 MONTHS. BY PARTNERING WITH US, WE INCREASED THE CHANCE OF A MERGER HAPPENING THAT WOULD NOT OTHERWISE HAPPEN. UNFORTUNATELY, THERE ARE A LOT OF EXAMPLES OF MERGERS IN CORPORATE AMERICA WHICH DON'T HAPPEN BECAUSE OF SO CALLED SOCIAL ISSUES AND THIS IS A CASE WHERE ECONOMICALLY THIS IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. THIS WILL BE A MUCH BETTER COMPANY, A MUCH STRONGER COMPANY THAT WILL, YOU KNOW, BE MORE COMPETITIVE GLOBALLY AS A RESULT OF THIS MERGER TRANSACTION. AND WE CATALYZED THAT TO HAPPEN. AND I THINK WE DID THAT WELL WITHIN THE CONFINES OF THE RULES. THE RULES SAY, LOOK, IN SOME SENSE ALMOST EVERY INVESTMENT WE MAKE WE ARE TRADING ON OUR OWN MATERIAL NONPUBLIC INFORMATION WHICH IS OUR STRATEGY FOR WHAT WE INTEND TO DO, AND THAT'S WHY STOCK PRICES TEND TO RISE THE DAY AFTER WE TAKE OUR STAKE.

WAPNER: SURE.

ACKMAN: IF WE HAD TO TELL THE MARKET IN ADVANCE WHAT WE WERE GOING TO DO, THE STOCK PRICE WOULD MOVE UP AND WE'D NEVER GET AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET PAID FOR OUR OWN IDEAS.

WAPNER: I WOULD JUST SUGGEST TO YOU THAT I GUESS WHAT WE HERE AND WHAT THE CRITICS WOULD SAY IS THAT, YES, BUT WHAT IS LEGAL AND WHAT'S OKAY BY THE RULES DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN IT'S RIGHT. AND THE RULES SOME PEOPLE ARE LOBBYING TO CHANGE DIRECTLY BECAUSE OF THIS TRANSACTION.

ACKMAN: MY QUESTION IS WHO IS HARMED, RIGHT? EVERY SHAREHOLDER IN ALLERGAN GOT A HIGHER PRICE, IN FACT 90.3% GOT A MUCH, MUCH HIGHER PRICE AND HAVE THE BENEFIT OF A TRANSACTION THAT WOULDN'T OTHERWISE HAPPEN. I DON'T KNOW THAT ANYONE HAS BEEN HARMED.

WAPNER: MAYBE NO ONE HAS BEEN HARMED, MAYBE IT'S JUST THAT YOU GOT IT TOO GOOD.

ACKMAN: IF PEOPLE WANTS US TO DO POORLY AND EVERYONE ELSE DOES WORSE THAT IS NOT A GOOD ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH TO BE IN. I BELIEVE THAT SHAREHOLDER ACTIVISM, AT LEAST LONG-TERM SHAREHOLDER ACTIVISM IS A VERY HEALTHY STRATEGY. IT BENEFITS ALL THE SMALL SHAREHOLDERS AND THE BIG INSTITUTIONS WHO ARE REQUIRED TO BE PASSIVE. WE'RE NOT SUCCESSFUL UNLESS THE MAJORITY OF OTHER SHAREHOLDERS AGREE WITH WHAT WE HAVE IN MIND. AND THE REASON FOR VALUE CREATION IN ALLERGAN IS BECAUSE WITH OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH VALIANT WE WERE ABLE TO CATALYZE A TRANSACTION WHICH WOULD NOT OTHERWISE HAPPEN. I THINK IT IS A VERY HEALTHY THING FOR THE MARKET.

WAPNER: DO YOU THINK THE LAW IS GOING TO BE CHANGED?

ACKMAN: NO.

WAPNER: YOU DON'T THINK THE S.E.C. WILL DO ANYTHING?

ACKMAN: NO, I DON'T THINK SO. AGAIN, IN ORDER FOR THIS TO BE AGAINST THE LAW, THERE HAS TO BE A THEFT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. THERE HAS TO BE – VALIANT WOULD – WE WOULD HAVE HAD TO STOLEN THE INFORMATION, IF YOU WILL, FROM VALIANT. IN THIS CASE VALIANT CONSISTENT WITH THEIR FIDUCIARY DUTY DECIDED TO SHARE WITH US AND PARTNER WITH US IN THIS TRANSACTION TO INCREASE THE CHANCES OF A TRANSACTION HAPPENING.

WAPNER: YOU MADE A FILING TODAY, ESSENTIALLY CAUTIONING ALLERGAN ABOUT SEEKING ANOTHER DEAL. THAT IT IN NO WAY BE AS GOOD AS WHAT'S ON THE TABLE HERE.

ACKMAN: THAT'S NOT ACTUALLY WHAT WE DID.

WAPNER: THAT'S PART OF WHAT THE STORY IS. YOU'RE TRYING TO TELL THEM HOW TO MARKET THE DEAL SO THAT IT'S ACCEPTED, CORRECT?

ACKMAN: WE OWN ALLERGAN STOCK, WE DON'T OWN VALEANT STOCK. OUR GOAL IS AT THE END OF THE DAY GET THE HIGHEST VALUE FOR OUR INVESTORS. SO OUR INTERESTS ALIGNING WITH ALLERGAN SHAREHOLDERS. WE BELIEVE THAT THE VALEANT/ALLERGAN TRANSACTION IS A VERY VALUABLE TRANSACTION. AND WE THINK THE CURRENT SHARE PRICE OF VALEANT DOES NOT REFLECT THIS ULTIMATE DEAL BECAUSE THERE'S STILL A LOT OF UNCERTAINTY, AT LEAST PERCEIVED UNCERTAINTY IN THE MARKET ABOUT THE DEAL HAPPENING. WE MADE A COUPLE OF POINTS. ONE OF THE POINTS WE MADE IS WE SAID, LOOK, EVEN THOUGH THIS DEAL IS A 38% PREMIUM, THAT'S BASED ON WHERE VALIANT TRADES TODAY. ONCE THE TRANSACTION SIGNED WE THINK THE DEAL WILL BE VALUED ON WHAT THE COMBINED COMPANY DOES AND ACHIEVES. JPMORGAN ANALYSTS HAS A PRICE TARGET OF OVER $200 A SHARE IF THE TRANSACTION WERE TO HAPPEN. SO I THINK THAT'S THE PROPER POINT OF COMPARISON. THAT'S THE FIRST POINT WE MAKE. SECOND POINT WE MAKE IS WE THINK THAT ALLERGAN SHOULD SIT DOWN WITH VALEANT. THE CEO OF VALIANT HAS SAID, MIKE PEARSON HAS SAID, I MIGHT BE PREPARED TO MAKE A LITTLE MORE IF ALLERGAN SITS DOWN WITH ME RIGHT NOW AND NEGOTIATES A DEAL. AND ALLERGAN, I THINK CONSISTENT WITH ITS FIDUCIARY DUTY IS OUT TALKING TO OTHER POTENTIAL ACQUIRERS. AND THEY SHOULD DO THAT. BUT THEY SHOULDN'T WAIT TO TALK TO VALEANT BECAUSE WORD IS ALREADY LEAKING OUT IN THE MARKET OF VARIOUS PLAYERS WHO MIGHT BE COMPETITIVE HERE WHO SAID TO THEIR SHAREHOLDERS THAT THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BID FOR THE COMPANY. AND AS MORE POTENTIAL PARTNERS OR COMBINATION PARTNERS SAY THEY ARE NOT INTERESTED IN ALLERGAN, THAT PUTS ALLERGAN IN A STRONGER AND STRONGER NEGOTIATING POSITION. OUR ONLY POINT IS, WANT TO MAKE THE BEST DEAL WITH VALEANT, THEY SHOULD SIT DOWN WITH VALEANT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

WAPNER: SPEAKING ABOUT TWO PEOPLE SITTING DOWN AND SPEAKING EYE TO EYE. YOU REACHED OUT TO CARL ICAHN OF ALL PEOPLE TO TRY AND FIX YOUR RELATIONSHIP, WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT.

ACKMAN: I DON'T KNOW IF I CALLED IT TO FIX OUR RELATIONSHIP. I CALLED TO FORGIVE HIM, AS I SAY.

WAPNER: SURE, BUT YOU HAD TO PICK UP THE PHONE AND MAKE THE PHONE CALL. WHAT LED YOU TO DO THAT AFTER WHAT HAPPENED ON THIS NETWORK?

ACKMAN: THE ANSWER IS I -- LIFE IS A LONG GAME. YOU'VE GOT TO RESPECT A GUY THAT LATE ON IN HIS CAREER HE'S STILL PROBABLY THE MOST ACTIVE SHAREHOLDER ACTIVIST IN THE COUNTRY. HE'S CREATED AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF WEALTH AS AN INVESTOR. HE'S GOT A GREAT TRACK RECORD, AND HE'S FRANKLY A CHARMING GUY. NOW I DID NOT LIKE THE WAY HE CONDUCTED HIMSELF IN MY LITTLE DISCUSSION.

WAPNER: BECAUSE THAT'S FAR FROM HOW YOU DESCRIBED HIM TO ME JANUARY OF 2013.

ACKMAN: THAT'S RIGHT. YOU KNOW, THE ANSWER IS, I'M JUST A LONG-TERM GUY AND HE SAID FRANKLY SOME NICE THINGS ABOUT ME ON YOUR NETWORK AND I CALLED HIM AND THANKED HIM AND JUST DECIDED TO MOVE ON AND AGREE TO DISAGREE ON HERBALIFE AND ACTUALLY MAYBE WE GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER A LITTLE BETTER AND HE'LL SPEND A LITTLE TIME WITH ME AND I CAN EXPLAIN TO HIM WHY HE'S WRONG IN HERBALIFE.

WAPNER: WILL YOU DO AN INVESTMENT TOGETHER DOWN THE ROAD, DO YOU THINK?

ACKMAN: IT'S POSSIBLE. SURE.

WAPNER: YOU'RE OPEN TO THAT?

ACKMAN: AS CARL SAID TO ME, WE SHARE A LOT OF SIMILAR THINKING ON ISSUES OF CORPORATE GOVERNANCE IN AMERICA, AND IT MAKES SENSE FOR US TO BE PARTNERS AS OPPOSED TO ENEMIES.

WAPNER: MY LAST QUESTION IS ABOUT HERBALIFE. YOU JUST RECENTLY HAD A WEBCAST A FEW DAYS AGO.

ACKMAN: YES.

WAPNER: WHAT HERBALIFE RESPONDED TO AND CALLED IT MISLEADING PROPAGANDA. THERE ARE NOW REPORTS THAT THE S.E.C. IS INVESTIGATING COLLUSION AMONG HEDGE FUNDS REGARDING THE INITIAL INVESTMENT INTO HERBALIFE.

ACKMAN: SURE.

WAPNER: DID YOU LEAK INFORMATION TO ANYBODY BEFORE YOU UNVEILED THAT?

ACKMAN: ABSOLUTELY NOT. JUST SO YOU KNOW HOW WE WORK, AS I EXPLAINED BEFORE, THE PROBLEM WITH OUR STRATEGY IS THAT WE HAVE TO BUILD A POSITION QUIETLY BEFORE PEOPLE KNOW WHAT WE HAVE IN MIND. WE WERE BUILDING OUR HERBALIFE SHORT POSITION UP UNTIL, I THINK, THE MORNING OF OUR MAKING THE PRESENTATION. SO WE WERE STRICTLY KEEPING THAT POSITION CONFIDENTIAL AND WE DON'T LEAK THINGS IN ADVANCE TO OTHERS. IT'S JUST NOT WHAT WE DO. AND I'M FRANKLY, I'M NOT AWARE THAT THERE WERE ANY LEAKS.

WAPNER: THE TARGET CEO, AND THIS IS MY LAST QUESTION. THE TARGET CEO IS OUT TODAY. YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH TARGET AND RETAIL IN GENERAL.

ACKMAN: YES.

WAPNER: WHAT'S YOUR REACTION TO THAT?

ACKMAN: LOOK, I THING GREGG STEINHAFEL IS A FIRST-CLASS PERSON. GOT TO KNOW HIM DURING THE TARGET PROXY CONTEST. WE DID NOT AGREE WITH ELEMENTS OF THEIR STRATEGY. INTERESTINGLY WE WANTED THEM TO SELL THEIR CREDIT CARD BUSINESS, AND WE FELT IT WAS A BUSINESS BETTER MANAGED BY A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION. IRONICALLY IT'S THE CREDIT CARD BUSINESS THAT ULTIMATELY COST HIM PROBABLY HIS JOB BECAUSE OF THE PRIVACY AND OTHER ISSUES. BUT HE'S A FIRST CLASS PERSON. HE'LL LAND ON HIS FEET, AND, YOU KNOW, TARGET IS A GREAT COMPANY AND I THINK THEY WILL BE VERY, VERY SUCCESSFUL.

WAPNER: YOU'D HIRE HIM TO RUN A RETAIL COMPANY YOU WERE INVOLVED IN?

ACKMAN: I'M PROBABLY NOT GOING TO EVER GET INVOLVED IN ANOTHER RETAIL COMPANY. I THINK IT'S A VERY TOUGH BUSINESS. BUT IF SOMEONE IS LOOKING FOR A VERY CAPABLE MANAGER, HE WOULD BE A GOOD PERSON TO CALL.

WAPNER: BILL, THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US FIRST ON CNBC.

ACKMAN: THANKS FOR HAVING ME. WE REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

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