Pershing Square, Valeant to pay $290 million to end insider trading suit
Activist investor Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Holdings Ltd. and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. agreed to pay US$290 million to settle investor claims that they engaged in insider trading in the unsuccessful 2014 takeover bid for botox-maker Allergan Inc.
The deal, which requires the approval of a U.S. judge in Los Angeles, ends a squabble between Pershing Square and Valeant on whether to settle the investors’ lawsuit and when, according to a statement from Ackman’s firm Friday. In the end, the two companies agreed to divide the payout, with Pershing Square paying US$193.75 million toward the settlement and Valeant paying US$96.25 million.
“We continue to believe the case had absolutely no merit,” Ackman said. “We decided, however, that it was in the best interest of our investors to settle the case now instead of continuing to spend substantial time and resources pursuing the litigation.”
Allergan’s shareholders claimed in the lawsuit that they were tricked when Ackman bought their shares with the secret knowledge Valeant was planning a hostile bid.
The case is In re Allergan Inc. Proxy Violation Securities Litigation, 14-cv-02004, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Santa Ana).