September 3, 2013 / 5:00 PM / 5 years ago

Hayman Capital takes 5.2 percent stake in J.C. Penney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Kyle Bass is the latest hedge fund manager to take a big stake in struggling retailer J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N) now that Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management has sold all its shares in the company.

Bass’s Hayman Capital Management reported a 5.2 percent stake of 11.4 million shares in Penney, according to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

Hayman said it held the 5.2 percent stake as of August 30, just days after Ackman’s Pershing Square sold its entire 18 percent stake in J.C. Penney, following a failed effort to push the retailer into a more upscale business line.

Penney’s shares were up 1.8 percent at $12.71 in early afternoon trading.

Ackman’s stake, which had made him J.C. Penney’s biggest shareholder, was sold to Citigroup Inc (C.N), which began offering the shares to other investors.

Pershing Square lost hundreds of millions of dollars on the bet on Plano, Texas-based J.C. Penney, whose shares have fallen 35 percent so far this year.

Last week, hedge fund manager Richard Perry reported that his fund, Perry Corp, increased its stake in J.C. Penney to 8.6 percent on August 30 after buying another 3 million shares.

Perry, in an earlier regulatory filing, said he wanted Penney’s board to replace its interim chief executive, Myron Ullman, with Ken Hicks, the chief executive of Foot Locker Inc (FL.N).

Perry also said he wanted the company to replace Chairman Thomas Engibous with former Chief Executive Allen Questrom. Perry said the decline in J.C. Penney’s stock and bond prices was a sign that investors had “lost confidence” in the company.

Hedge fund manager George Soros’s Soros Fund Management ranks as Penney’s largest investor with a roughly 9.1 percent stake, or 19.98 million shares, as of the end of the second quarter.

Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Leslie Adler

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