Billionaire Bill Ackman discloses new $900M bet on Starbucks

Bill Ackman, chief executive officer and portfolio manager at Pershing Square Capital Management, speaks during the SALT conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Richard Brian - RC1367565E20

Bill Ackman loves his Starbucks. So much so, that the Pershing Square investor revealed Tuesday that over the last 90 days, his fund has upped their play in the coffee chain to nearly a billion dollars.

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Ackman told a crowd at Grant’s Fall 2018 Conference in New York that his fund now has 15.2 million shares of Starbucks, which calculates to roughly $900 million. Starbucks shares popped more than 3 percent on the news and are little changed for the year.

He said he likes Starbucks because they care for its partners and they are not threatened by increases in the minimum wage.

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Ackman is no stranger to the food and beverage space. He has held investments in Chipotle Mexican Grill and Restaurant Brands International, the parent of Burger King, Tim Horton’s, Mondelez and McDonald’s.

“[It’s] one of the greatest businesses in the world,” Ackman said, noting that he wished that he had bought shares in Starbucks during the financial crisis, according to Yahoo News.

In an email to FOX Business regarding the investment, a spokesperson for Starbucks said, “Throughout our 26 years as a public company we have maintained a transparent relationship with our shareholders and they have helped us fulfill our aspirations as a growth company that contributes to society on multiple dimensions.”

The spokesperson added that they view the active and engaged dialogue with shareholders as critical input into Starbucks’ strategic approach and they value constructive feedback.

“We look forward to maintaining a productive dialogue with Mr. Ackman as we do with all of our shareholders,” the company said.

Through September, Pershing Square had $8.3 billion of assets under management, and its net performance was up 15.8 percent year-over-year.