Hedge Fund Perry Capital Cuts its Stake in JCPenney

JCPenney's flagship on 33rd Street, Manhattan

JCPenney’s flagship on 33rd Street, Manhattan

Plano, TX—One of JCPenney’s remaining largest shareholders cut its stake in the department store by half, according to a regulatory filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission on Monday.

Hedge fund Perry Capital reduced its stake in the ailing department store to 3.28% from its 8.62% stake reported in August.

In the last week, JCPenney saw its stock drop by about 30% and the company plans to offer 84 million shares in another offering in hopes of raising nearly $1 billion. JCPenney stock value has dropped below $9 a share. The issuance of the new shares dilutes current shareholders’ value.

Had Supported Hiring New CEO, Chairman

Previously Richard Perry, chief executive of Perry Capital, had been among several hedge fund managers who supported and extended their stakes in the wake of the dispute between JCPenney’s board of directors and former director William Ackman of Pershing Square management.

Other hedge fund managers expanding their shares included Kyle Bass of Hayman Capital Management with a 5.2% stake and Larry Robbins of Glenview Capital Management at 9.1%.

Although Perry has banked on an expanded hedge funds’ stake in wake of Ackman’s resignation and sale of its majority stake, Perry had sided with Ackman in a call to replace CEO Myron “Mike” Ullman and Chairman Tom Engibous.

“We believe that immediately appointing Allen Questrom chairman of the board and Ken Hicks CEO (Foot Locker CEO) is imperative at this juncture, and we anticipate that the company’s various constituents would be highly supportive of such a change,” Perry wrote in a letter to the board.

Of course, Ullman and Engibous wound up maintaining their positions and had the support of other hedge funds. Furthermore, there are no indications that the other hedge funds with large stakes are reducing their shares anytime soon.

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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