here is a great article on business insider. http://www.businessinsider.com/clusterstock
finance’s version of tmz, lots of drama:
BILLIONAIRE BARRAGE: Lee Cooperman is stepping up his attack against Bill Ackman
In an interview with CNBC last week, ADP CEO Carlos Rodriguez compared Ackman’s request to extend the deadline for nominating board members to “a spoiled brat in school asking the teacher for an extension for their homework.” Pershing Square has said that Rodriguez “unfairly characterized” their interactions to make the fund’s efforts “appear unreasonable.”
“He’s conducting himself in a very destructive manner,” said Cooperman, the founder of Omega Advisors, a multi-billion New York-based hedge fund.
“I’m not in the business of criticizing people, but I think this is disgraceful,” he told Business Insider Thursday, his voice rising.
“I think his conduct is irresponsible. There’s a way of dealing with it; he could have quietly presented his findings to the company, allow them to digest it. The company has been run as an open book.”
“He’s a hot dog trying to create maximum publicity without regard for the implications to management and the costs involved with this proxy fight,” Cooperman said.
ADP, he said, was worth about $10 million in the early 1960s and had steadily added value, worth about $60 billion today. “There are very few companies that can sustain that,” he said.
“I don’t have a strong opinion on the merits of his view,” Cooperman said of Ackman’s investment thesis. “I have a strong opinion on his comportment and civility.”
“He makes a big deal that he spoke with 85 former executives,” Cooperman said. “I know for a fact the last three CEOs have not spoken with him.”
Earlier on Thursday, Pershing Square presented its thesis on ADP. When asked what he thought about it, Cooperman said: “You don’t follow what the f— I’m saying,” his voice rising. “I’m talking about the merits of his conduct.”
He shows up and says he’s studied the company for six months. Why does he wait for the last minute for an audience with the board?" Cooperman said, adding, “The company is right. Who does he think he is? Given the company’s performance, if he was constructive, he should have waited a year … the company runs an open door policy … they’d have been happy to hear what he had to say … He has chutzpah to ask them to extend the window.”
Cooperman contacted Business Insider in response to a reportearlier Thursday about an ADP board director whose position at Columbia Business School, which receives money from Pershing Square, poses a potential conflict. Cooperman took issue with the relationship being described as a conflict, calling it “bulls–t.” When Business Insider responded that three academics in the story had described the relationship as such, he said, “you shouldn’t feed that bulls–t.”