J. C. Penney Co. Inc. (JCP) has been a real pain in the backside of activist investor Pershing Square and other value and turnaround investors. This is Bill Ackman's fund, and we already had seen speculative reports that Ackman was dumping his stake after having withdrawn all efforts against the company and after having withdrawn from the board of directors.
Now we have an SEC filing showing that Pershing Square has filed for the resale of 39,075,771 shares of common stock by Pershing Square affiliates. J.C. Penney itself will not receive any proceeds from the sale of the shares of common stock. According to SEC filings, this appears to be the entire Pershing Square stake in the company.
While this is a formal filing, the reality is that this has been anticipated in some form or fashion. When an activist sends a letter to his investors telling them that mistakes were made and that all in all they are still up considering other investments, the writing was on the wall.
JC Penney shares closed down 1.2% at $13.35 on Monday and the after-hours quotes have shares down another 2% at $12.99 against a 52-week trading range of $12.34 to $32.55. Where this stock stops is anyone's guess. With a $2.9 billion market cap and its old historical price charts, JC Penney shares might be headed to slightly under $10.
Monday's SEC filing is under Rule 424(b)(7), and this allows for the resale of up to the amount listed. The sale process here may happen at any point now, but Bill Ackman is formally calling it a day.
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