Activist investors buy 25 percent of JCPenney
Plano, Texas—Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings show that an activist investor and a real estate investment trust have purchased a combined 26.4 percent stake in retailer J.C. Penney Co. Inc.
William Ackman, chief executive officer of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management LP and the managing member of PS Management GP LLC and Pershing Square GP LLC, purchased a 16.5 percent stake in JC Penney together with his companies.
Meanwhile, Vornado Realty Trust, together with its entities Vornando Realty L.P., VNC Fashion LLC and VSPS I L.L.C, bought a 9.9 percent stake in the Plano, Texas-based retailer, according to separate SEC filing.
In the SEC filings made by both Vornado and Ackman, it is noted that they believe JCPenney's stock is "undervalued" and an "attractive investment."
"The reporting persons expect to engage in discussions with the management, the board, other stockholders of the issue and other relevant parties concerning the business, assets, capitalization, financial condition, operations, governance, management, strategy and future plans of the issuer," both filings state.
Ackman and Vornando also intend to consult with each other regarding their respective investments.
Last week, JCPenney reported that its sales were up 5.1 percent for the five-week period ended Oct. 2, beating company expectations. Total company sales in September were up 2.9 percent.
Top-performing categories for the month included men's apparel, followed by shoes and fine jewelry. Last week, National Jeweler learned that JCPenney planned to shelve its popular "Beware of the Doghouse" marketing campaign—which promoted diamond fashion jewelry—this holiday season in favor of emphasizing its new line of Modern Bride-branded bridal jewelry, set to launch early next year.