Pershing Square Sells Half Of Mall Co. Shares

Sep 17 2013 | 10:20am ET

Having dumped its huge holding of J.C. Penney Co. shares, Pershing Square Capital Management is cutting back on another long-time investment.

The New York-based hedge fund slashed its stake in mall owner General Growth Properties by more than half, from 8% to 3.7%, it said in a regulatory filing. The move follows the end of Pershing Square's activist effort earlier this year.

Pershing Square and Brookfield Asset Management in 2010 led a reorganization of General Growth. But the hedge fund soon soured on the arrangement as Brookfield began to boost its stake in the company and last year called for General Growth's sale, a move opposed by Brookfield.

In January, the two sides struck a deal, with Brookfield agreeing to ownership limits to assuage Pershing Square's fears that it would take "de facto" control of the company. For its part, Pershing Square sold warrants to buy more than 18 million General Growth shares to Brookfield, accepted its own ownership limits and agreed to go passive.

In a letter to investors last month, Ackman noted that "retail has not been our strong suit."

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