Bill Ackman, chief executive officer of Pershing Square Capital Management LP, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg)

Bill Ackman's Long—And Mostly Good—History of Food Investments

(Bloomberg) -- Starbucks Corp. isn’t Bill Ackman’s first foray in fast food and drinks.

The activist investor’s bet on Restaurant Brands International Inc., the owner of Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes Lousiana Kitchen, has been a bright spot for his Pershing Square Capital Management.

Ackman said at the end of the year that despite a steady increase in the company’s shares in 2017, it is an attractive opportunity that he believes remains undervalued.

His gamble on Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is also starting to pay off after languishing in the wake of an illness outbreak and other incidents at stores.

The burrito chain’s new new chief executive officer, Brian Niccol, who joined from Taco Bell Corp. in March, has embarked on a turnaround that has revitalized interest in the company.

Ackman sold a stake in Chipotle in August valued at about $401 million after shares in the company gained about 67 percent in the aftermath of Niccol’s appointment.

His Pershing Square also lobbied for changes at Wendy’s International Inc. and McDonald’s Corp. after reporting stakes in those chains in 2005.

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