Tags: Soros | Ackman | Penney | sales

Soros Said to Support J.C. Penney CEO Ullman in Feud With Ackman

Monday, 12 Aug 2013 04:06 PM

J.C. Penney Co. investors Soros Fund Management LLC and Glenview Capital Management LLC support Chairman Tom Engibous and Chief Executive Officer Mike Ullman in their battle against Bill Ackman, according to people familiar with the situation.

The funds told J.C. Penney they support the current management team after Ackman criticized the executives in letters last week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were private. Soros owned about 7.9 percent of J.C. Penney’s stock as of April while Glenview held about 4.3 percent as of March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Engibous and Ullman are working to turn around the retailer after sales in its most recent year slid 25 percent to the lowest in more than two decades. Ackman, whose Pershing Square Capital Management LP owns about 18 percent of the retailer’s shares, asked his fellow J.C. Penney directors last week to expedite the CEO search and later to replace Engibous, saying the board isn’t functioning effectively.

Ackman won an ally last week in hedge fund Perry Capital LLC, which disclosed a 7.3 percent stake in J.C. Penney and said it agreed with replacing Ullman and Engibous.

Soros, which disclosed its stake in J.C. Penney in April, has previously clashed with Ackman. The New York-based firm opposed Ackman’s short on Herbalife Ltd. by taking a position of less than 5 percent of that company, a person with knowledge of the purchases said on July 31.

Late last year, Soros asked to pull the money it had invested with Ackman’s Pershing Square, a little less than $250 million, because of disappointing returns, according to a person briefed on the matter. The redemptions are staggered over several quarters and will be complete next year.

Glenview, based in New York, disclosed its J.C. Penney stake in November.

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J.C. Penney Co. investors Soros Fund Management LLC and Glenview Capital Management LLC support Chairman Tom Engibous and Chief Executive Officer Mike Ullman in their battle against Bill Ackman, according to people familiar with the situation.
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2013-06-12
Monday, 12 Aug 2013 04:06 PM
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