Bill Ackman Joins J.C. Penney's (JCP) Board ~ market folly

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bill Ackman Joins J.C. Penney's (JCP) Board

Pershing Square's Bill Ackman recently appeared on CNBC and discussed the latest activity regarding his investment in J.C. Penney (JCP). Ackman will join JCP's board along with Vornado Realty Trust's (VNO) chairman Steven Roth. The retailer will also close some stores and get rid of its catalog business.

You'll recall that Ackman took an activist stake in JCP back in September. At the time, we also noted Vornado's sizable concurrent position as well. It appears as though the activist gears are in motion as the two attempt to shake up the large retailer. In the past, we opined that JCP was potentially a real estate play, but Ackman subsequently quashes that notion in the interview. While he acknowledges that the company has valuable real estate assets, he notes that they will 'live or die as a retailer.'

At the end of the interview, the hedge fund manager also mentions that he still has not sold any of his General Growth Properties (GGP) position either. This has been his most successful investment ever as he turned $60 million into $1.6 billion for his investors (and more).

Embedded below is Ackman's interview in CNBC (email readers will need to come to the site to view it):

We'll be detailing any recent portfolio activity from Pershing Square and analyzing their holdings in our new issue of Hedge Fund Wisdom that will be released in a few weeks.

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