Billionaire Ackman donates millions of Coupang shares to foundation, others

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Bill Ackman, chief executive officer and portfolio manager at Pershing Square Capital Management, speaks during the SALT conference in Las Vegas

(Reuters) – Billionaire hedge fund investor William Ackman said on Monday he donated 26.5 million shares in newly public South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Inc to three entities, including his foundation.

Ackman, who runs hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, said on Twitter he also donated the shares to a donor-advised funds program and another non-profit he did not identify.

The donation is valued at $1.36 billion, calculated at Coupang’s current share price of $51.4.

Ackman, who took home an estimated $1.4 billion last year after having delivered a 70.2% return, has previously supported a scholarship charity and other causes through his foundation.

Coupang, backed by SoftBank Group Corp, was valued at around $109 billion in its market debut on Thursday after it raised around $4.6 billion in the biggest U.S. initial public offering this year.

SoftBank also racked up a roughly $33 billion gain on paper through the public market debut of Coupang.

Founded in 2010 by Korean-American billionaire Bom Suk Kim, Coupang rose to prominence after launching its guaranteed same-day or next-day delivery service in the East Asian country.

“I was a very fortunate day one investor in @Coupang. As a result of its incredible success, 26.5m shares of its stock will benefit humanity as I gave all of the shares to @PershingSqFdn, a DAF, and another non-profit!,” Ackman tweeted.

The billionaire investor has occasionally taken to Twitter, sending a message when he wants to get the word out to his 288,000 followers. But sometimes they are cryptic one-word answers like “yes” or “done” when he’s asked something about his plans.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Svea Herbst in Boston; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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