ADP's Stock Surges After Activist Bill Ackman Seeks To Take Control

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Automatic Data Processing Inc. rose 2.9% in premarket trade Friday, after the business consulting company disclosed that activist investor William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management is seeking to take control. ADP said Pershing, which owns 8% of the company's shares outstanding, is seeking to extend the deadline for nomination directors by up to 45 days, as Ackman would like to take five board seats. Ackman is also seeking a change of the chief executive officer. "The Board has unanimously determined that it is not in the best interests of ADP or its other shareholders to accede to Pershing Square's last-minute request for an extension," the company said in a statement. ADP said in the six years that Carlos Rodriquez has been CEO, ADP's total shareholder return (TSR) has been 202%, while the S&P 500's TSR has been 128% and Pershing's TSR has been 29%. Over the past year, ADP's stock has rallied 26.4% while the S&P 500 has gained 14%.

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