Jan 27, 2022 - Economy

Bill Ackman's hedge fund acquired over 3.1 million Netflix shares

A line going up then down

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Pershing Square, the hedge fund led by Bill Ackman, disclosed that it acquired more than 3.1 million shares of Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX).

Why it matters: This is a major vote of confidence in the current strategy of Netflix, whose shares have tumbled due to slowed subscriber growth. That said, investors will watch to see if Ackman agitates for a faster/slower move into gaming or alternate content areas like fitness.

What Ackman said: "I have long admired Reed Hastings and the remarkable company he and his team have built. We are delighted that the market has presented us with this opportunity."

Details: Ackman's has around a 0.68% stake in Netflix, making him a top 20 shareholder. His position was valued at nearly $1.2 billion as of Wednesday's market close, but shares were higher in pre-market trading today on the news.

The bottom line: "Ackman hasn't run a proxy fight since 2017 when he lost his bid for seats on the board of Automatic Data Processing Inc. Since then, he has moved to a less combative approach, talking up his recent investments in companies like Starbucks and Universal Music Group." — Lucas Shaw & Jessica Park, Bloomberg

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