Hedge Funds Up Their Stakes in JCPenney

JCPenney Plano, TX—Activist investor William Ackman may have washed his hands of its hedge fund’s 18% stake in JCPenney, but several other leading investors have stepped in to snap up shares in the department store.

Just days after Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management sold its stake in for about $504.4 million, and at an estimated loss of about $473 million, several other investment funds are investing in the struggling retailer in belief that things will turnaround. (Shares of JCPenney are down by some 37.3% since January).

On Friday, Richard Perry of Perry Capital, which owned 7.3% of JCPenney’s shares, bought an additional 3 million shares, according to a SEC filing. Perry now owns about 8.62% of JCPenney, making him the second largest shareholder after billionaire investor George Soros at 9.1%.

In another SEC filing released today, Hayman Capital, a firm run by J. Kyle Bass, said it acquired more than 11 million shares—about 5.2% of JCPenney—as a “passive investment.”

But don’t expect any of these funds to invest to the scale that Ackman did. As part of its exit strategy with Pershing, JCPenney adopted last month a shareholder rights plan, or “poison pill,” that would block another activist investor from acquiring more than 10% of the retailer.

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Jeff Prine

Jeff Prine, Editor at Large, Accessories Magazine
Jeff returns as a regular contributor to Accessories magazine. Initially Jeff worked as senior editor at Accessories more than 20 years ago and his love of the industry has followed him until present. Since his tenure here, Jeff has continued to report jewelry, watch and other luxury goods trends as executive editor at Modern Jeweler magazine, fashion director at Lustre, and as contributor on products and trends for consumer and trade publications and websites. In addition to his editorial experience, Jeff also served as an adjunct instructor for accessories merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology. jeffp@busjour.com