CNBC Exclusive: CNBC Excerpts: Pershing Square CEO Bill Ackman on CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report” Today
WHEN: MONDAY, MAY 2 AT 12PM ET
WHERE: CNBC'S "FAST MONEY HALFTIME REPORT"
Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Pershing Square CEO Bill Ackman on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime Report" today. Video of the interview is available on www.cnbc.com.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
ACKMAN ON MUNGER BEING WRONG
The company's made some mistakes but I think where Munger is wrong, it's wrong to indict an entire company on the basis of a few mistakes and a leader who is no longer with the business now.
ACKMAN ON GOLDMAN SACHS AND VALEANT
If you think about when Berkshire invested in Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs in 09' had to be one of the most reviled companies in the country. Right, accused of all kinds of subprime related, misleading investors. Every day there was another negative article. Gretchen Morgenson would write about Goldman every week. Feels like this is the same moment for Valeant, but it didn't stop Buffet from making an investment in the company. Goldman's paid a lot of fines, I have an enormous respect for Lloyd Blankfein, we do a lot of business with Goldman Sachs, they made some mistakes, they owned up to them, they made appropriate changes in personnel and the company continues. I think you don't indict Goldman Sachs in the actions of a few people and you don't indict Valeant on the actions of a few people.
ACKMAN ON THE COMPANY NOT BEING A SEWER
The company is not a sewer and neither is Goldman Sachs. Did Goldman Sachs make some mistakes? Did Bank of America make some mistakes? Of course they did, but you don't indict all the employees.
ACKMAN ON DRUG PRICING
The market is already discounting companies where price is a meaningful part of the driver of the growth of the business. This stocks only going to go from $30 a share to $120, $270 because we are going to build a great company. We are going to build a company that grows largely based on volume and not based on massive price increases.
ACKMAN ON ASSET SALES
In terms of asset sales, the company has no plans to sell any "Crown Jewel" type asset. The only things we are considering are non-core asset sales and here there are assets in the company that have meaningful value that don't generate a lot of cash, perhaps lose money. Pearson bought a lot of assets over a long period of time, those are the kind of assets that would be first on the list, but in terms of the core franchises of the business, these are not things we are considering selling.
ACKMAN ON COKE
Unfortunately Coke-A-Cola markets a product that I think causes harm. I have no problem with adults making a choice about it, but the way the product advertises, there is no disclosure about you know this product is promoted to children…I am sure it's a great company, and it's been a great investment for Mr. Buffett, I just don't like the product and the principle way the company makes money.
ACKMAN ON HERBALIFE
I think the government is going to act soon. I believe that based on disclosure of Herbalife's 10K, and we think the governments going to do the right thing. We think this company has caused enormous harm and actually I had an opportunity, I was asked about it in the senate hearing and hopefully the senate is going to take an interest in the company.
ACKMAN ON HERBALIFE EMPLOYEES
If you find yourself as a Herbalife employee today, my advice is that you should leave the company because this is not going to be a good thing on your resume. I'd go find another job.
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