- Reuters / Richard Brian
- Billionaire investor Bill Ackman wants to cash in if Elon Musk relocates Tesla’s headquarters.
- Ackman’s Pershing Square fund owns almost 30% of Howard Hughes, a developer of master-planned communities.
- The hedge-fund boss asked Musk to consider three of Howard Hughes’ communities for Tesla’s new base in a tweet on Thursday.
- Musk threatened to move Tesla out of California this month after county officials ordered him not to reopen the electric-car maker’s factory due to local lockdown measures.
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The Pershing Square chief, who famously turned $27 million into $2.6 billion by hedging the coronavirus sell-off, pitched three of real-estate developer Howard Hughes‘ master-planned communities as potential Tesla sites in a tweet on Thursday.
Ackman called Musk a “visionary American” like legendary business magnate Howard Hughes in the tweet. He also asked the Tesla boss to watch a promotional video that combined the two companies’ logos and showcased two communities in Texas and one in Nevada.
The hedge-fund manager continued his pitch in a second tweet. He asked Musk to “please take a close look” at Howard Hughes’ Summerlin community in Nevada, highlighting its proximity to Tesla’s Gigafactory in the state. He added that if Musk changes his mind about owning a home, Summerlin boasts a luxury community that could suit him.
Ackman stands to benefit if Musk moves Tesla’s base to a Howard Hughes community. His fund, Pershing Square, boosted its stake in Howard Hughes more than five-fold to 12.2 million shares in the first quarter, giving him almost 30% ownership of the company.
The hedge-fund chief may be especially eager to attract Tesla given Howard Hughes’ current challenges. The company’s stock price has cratered 60% since the start of 2020, largely because its communities are in places such as Las Vegas and Hawaii that have been hit hard by travel restrictions and business closures in response to the pandemic.
Musk is ostensibly seeking a new home for Tesla because officials in Alameda County, California, ordered the electric-car maker not to reopen its factory due to local lockdown measures.
He retaliated by suing the county, and tweeting that this was the “final straw” and his company would leave the state.