A campaign to unlock value at Target is Bill Ackman's boldest move yet. And if history is any guide, the hedge fund manager is quietly employing his large network of investment banker and real estate contacts to help get backing for what will be his most difficult crusade ever.
Ackman, the head of Pershing Square Capital Management, has gained a reputation for innovative and audacious ideas to promote improvements at Wendy's and McDonald's that resulted in millions of dollars of value for shareholders.
In July, Ackman surprised Wall Street by zeroing in on Target, disclosing a 9.6% stake in the discount retailer because he felt the stock was undervalued. The fund manager said he wants to find ways to improve value at Target but didn't provide details of his intentions.
Several industry sources say that Ackman, as with his prior campaigns, is looking to generate more value from Target's real estate assets.