Payment group ADP hits out at Ackman’s ‘lethargy’ claims
TENSIONS between billionaire Bill Ackman and payroll processing giant ADP have intensified after the US company said the activist investor’s latest plan for the group “betrays a fundamental lack of understanding”.
Mr Ackman’s investment fund Pershing Square, which took a secondary listing in London in May, this week called for major change at the “lethargic and inefficient sleeping giant” in which it has an 8pc stake.
ADP hit back at Pershing’s 168-page report – saying it strongly disagreed with the analysis and “is not resting on its laurels”.
The relationship between the activist investor and Carlos Rodriguez, the chief executive of ADP, has become somewhat strained in recent weeks. Mr Rodriguez described the hedge fund manager as a “spoiled brat” in a television interview he gave earlier in the month.
His comment, referring to Mr Ackman’s push for leadership changes and more board seats at the company, was a rare example of a chief executive publicly criticising one of its major shareholders.
Pershing said in a filing this week that Mr Rodriguez had accidentally emailed Mr Ackman earlier this month saying he did not find the investor’s willingness to work with him credible.