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Exclusive: Activist investor Starboard exits Macy's stock - sources

The Macy's logo is pictured on the side of a building in down town Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - Starboard Value LP, the activist hedge fund that had pressured Macy's Inc (M.N) to separate its real estate from its retail business, has sold its stake in the U.S. department store operator, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The move gives Macy's incoming Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gennette more space to execute on the company's turnaround plan. It also comes after an acquisition approach by Canada's Hudson's Bay Co (HBC.TO), the owner of the Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue retail chains, failed to materialize into a concrete offer for Macy's.

The sources asked not to be identified because the matter is not public. Starboard, which owned almost 1 percent of Macy's as of the end of December, declined to comment. Macy's did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Michael Flaherty in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr)