Activist investor Bill Ackman has admitted that he “of course” regrets investing in Valeant Pharmaceuticals and he says working with the company’s executives has been a huge pain.
“There’s been a lot of brain damage in the last five weeks working with the board,” Ackman said Monday in an interview with CNBC’s Scott Wapner.
Ackman joined Valeant’s board in March as Valeant’s CEO, Mike Pearson, announced his departure from the firm.
When asked if he regretted keeping his shares in the company and getting more involved with its operations, he said, “Any price would have been better” than Valeant’s current price of about $31.
Since that is no longer an option, Ackman says he plans to fix the company and drive it towards a “meaningful” turnaround.
He will have a long way to go on the road to recovery. Valeant shares are down 86% in the last year and about 70% in the last six months.
As if Ackman doesn’t already have enough problems, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger called Valeant a “Wall Street scheme” that is enormously flawed, and a sewer.”
Ackman shot back at Berkshire Hathaway’s leaders, telling CNBC it was wrong to “indict Valeant on the actions of a few people” and “you don’t call Valeant a ‘sewer’ because the company made a mistake.”
Valeant has been accused of price gauging by buying drug companies and raising the prices on their products.
When questioned about the company’s price gouging Ackman told CNBC: “I think it’s wrong to buy a drug and mark the price up 5X.”
Along with an SEC investigation, Valeant is undergoing investigations in North Carolina, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York.