Perry, Hayman Buy Up Penney's Shares

Sep 3 2013 | 12:01pm ET

One of Pershing Square Capital Management's supporters in its battle with J.C. Penney Co. is taking advantage of the hedge fund's exit from the struggling retailer.

Perry Capital scooped up 3 million of the more than 39 million shares Pershing Square sold late last month, boosting its stake to 8.6%. It can't buy much more, as Penney's instituted a poison pill provision last month to prevent another activist hedge fund like Pershing Square from acquiring more than 10% of its shares.

Perry was among Pershing Square founder William Ackman's only allies in his bid to force a quick replacement of Penney's interim CEO Myron Ullman and Chairman Thomas Engibous, writing last month that "shareholders and creditors have increasingly lost confidence in the company."

Pershing Square sold off its entire stake after Ackman resigned from the board amidst a dispute with his fellow directors. The move cost Pershing Square some $500 million.

Separately from Perry's purchase, Hayman Capital Management announced a 5.2% stake in Penney's, joining Perry, Soros Fund Management, Balyasny Asset Management, Citadel Investment Group, Glenview Capital Management, SAC Capital Advisors and Wexford Capital among large hedge-fund holders of the stock. The Dallas-based hedge fund's move into Penney's had been previously reported, but the size of the investment was unclear until now.

Hayman said its investment is a passive one, indicating that it does not plan to push for changes along with Perry.

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