Activist Investor Bill Ackman Sets His Sights On Automatic Data Processing (ADP)

Activist Investor Bill Ackman Sets His Sights On Automatic Data Processing (ADP)

ADP also couldn't resist taking a swipe at Pershing Square's recent weak performance.

Mr. Ackman is no stranger to ADP, having invested in it from 2009 to 2011.

Pershing Square declined to comment. Everyone's done it: "While I am always praising of you as a person and an intellect if I agree to say something it will be supportive of the company and critical of you". Friday's statement comes after Bloomberg first reported last week that Ackman had built a stake in the firm.

Shares in Chipotle, on which Pershing Square spent about $1.17 billion a year ago, are down more than 17 percent since the stake was disclosed.

"ADP is open to constructive input from our shareholders, and our Board respects the right of shareholders to nominate directors", Automatic Data Processing said in a statement.

ADP said in the six years that Carlos Rodriquez has been CEO, ADP's total shareholder return (TSR) has been 202%, while the S&P 500's SPX, -0.22% TSR has been 128% and Pershing's TSR has been 29%.

Pershing owns 8 percent of ADP, which processes checks for about 20 percent of the US work force.

There have been successes too: Last year, Pershing Square exited a long-time investment in Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. that made about $2.6 billion, and in July it sold part of its stake in fast-food chain holding company Restaurant Brands International Inc. after shares in the owner of Burger King and Tim Hortons rose 39 percent over the previous year.

Ackman has also told ADP that he will meet the August 10 deadline if the company refuses to extend it, according to people familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to discuss private talks.

Shares of ADP are up 2.5% at $114.50 in premarket trading Friday. At that meeting, we reiterated our request for an extension to the nominating deadline and discussed the potential additions of several independent directors and a Pershing Square representative to the Board.

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