Activist Investor Ackman Turns Bullish on Borders -- Shares Soar

Includes: BGPIQ, BKS
by: Lon Juricic

At an investors conference today activist hedge fund manger Bill Ackman, who runs Pershing Square Capital, said Borders Group Inc. (BGP) is cheap and could be worth $36 per share in the next 18 months. He plans to disclose an 11% stake in the company shortly.

According to reports from Bloomberg, Ackman was positive on the company's repurchase plan which he said was "aggressive." He was also positive on the new CEO George Jones, a former Saks executive.

Ackman recently told Barron's that he increased his stake in Borders' rival Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) from 2.3% to 8%. Ackman made similar comments on Barnes & Noble, saying the stock is significantly undervalued.

Ackman may be best known for his fight to implement changes at McDonald's Corp. (NYSE:MCD). He was also instrumental in getting Wendy's International (NYSE:WEN) to make aggressive changes, including spinning off its Tim Horton's (THI) chain.

Shares of Borders Group are up about 10% to $23.71 in early action Thursday.

Borders Group Chart 9 11 06

Related: Media coverage: • Commentary: Excerpt from the mentioned Barron's featureBorders Wobbles: Could It Be Ripe for a Takeover Bid?Borders Needs a Savior