Hedge Funds Still Holding Big Penney’s Horde

Aug 28 2013 | 12:01pm ET

J.C. Penney Co. may have rid itself of its most turbulent hedge fund shareholder—Pershing Square Capital Management’s William Ackman—but it has others that could take his place should its turnaround founder.

There are more than a dozen hedge funds among Penney’s 100 largest shareholders. None has anywhere near the stake—more than 18%—that Pershing Square owned, and none will, given the company’s new poison pill. But together, they make up some formidable numbers.

Soros Fund Management owns a 9.1% stake and Perry Capital a 7.3% stake, The New York Times reports. Glenview Capital Management owns 3.8% of the troubled retailer. Others on the roster include Balyasny Asset Management, Citadel Investment Group, SAC Capital Advisors and Wexford Capital. And Hayman Capital has recently taken a large—and still undisclosed—stake.

The likelihood of collective action may be diminished, however, by disagreements among the hedge funds. Soros, for instance, opposed Ackman’s call to quickly replace interim CEO Myron Ullman, while Perry backed him.

Ackman moved this week to sell his entire Penney’s take—at a loss of more than $500 million—after he resigned from its board earlier this month amidst a dispute with his fellow directors.

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