Ackman says Pyott has crippling conflict of interest in merger talks

|By:, SA News Editor

In a letter to Lead Director Michael R. Gallagher, Hedge fund honcho and owner of ~10% of Allergan (AGN +0.1%) Bill Ackman says Chairman and CEO David Pyott has a disabling conflict of interest standing in the way of progress in the merger negotiations. He asserts that Mr. Pyott cannot independently represent Allergan in considering Valeant's (VRX +0.1%) bid because he will lose his job if the deal goes through.

He says the AGN board erred in not meeting with VRX management before rejecting its offer and designating Mr. Pyott as the only member of the BOD authorized to speak with shareholders. He accuses Mr. Pyott of acting improperly by criticizing both VRX and Pershing Square in meetings with institutional shareholders.

Mr. Ackman believes that a majority of AGN shareholders favor the deal.