Ackman Says General Electric Great Operator, ‘Terrible’ Investor


Billionaire investor Bill Ackman said his activist fund spent “an enormous amount of time working on” a potential investment in General Electric Co. before GE announced the sale of most of its real estate assets in April, and concluded it “wasn’t cheap enough.”

Fellow activist Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management disclosed Monday a $2.5 billion stake in GE and publicly released an 81-slide presentation urging Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt to more aggressively sell units, trim costs and boost margins.

“I think Nelson’s correct, I think the direction GE is heading is correct,” Ackman said Tuesday at Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit in New York, in an interview with Stephanie Ruhle. “GE is actually an extremely well-operated company, but it’s a company that’s been an absolute failure in terms of the way they’ve allocated capital.”

Ackman cited GE’s acquisition of broadcaster NBC, its venture into oil and gas, and its detour into banking with its finance division as examples of where “they’ve not done a good job with capital generated by the core” businesses. That money would have better rewarded shareholders if used to grow its core businesses and buy back stock, he said…

Ackman Says General Electric Great Operator, ‘Terrible’ Investor

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