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J.C. Penney Adopts 'Poison Pill' Stockholder Plan

Friday August 23rd, 2013 - 12:45PM


J.C. Penney Co. Inc., announced that it adopted a “poison-pill” one-year stockholder rights plan on Thursday, August 22, 2013, to protect itself against any future coercive takeover efforts, according to a Reuters report.

According J.C. Penney’s, which is struggling to reverse a large sales slide, the plan was not in response to a takeover attempt. The provisions, however, would block a single investor from owning more than 10% of the retailer's shares.

The “poison pill” plan follows a public feud earlier this month between Penney's board and largest shareholder, William Ackman, who owns nearly 18% of the company from shares he bought in 2010. Ackman has resigned from the board, and has announced that this week, he may sell his stock, according to Reuters.

Shares of Penney rose 1.3% to $13.50 in trading before the market opened.

"Poison pills" are designed to dilute holdings of an investor should his or her stake exceed a given threshold. Penney said it would file details of the plan with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Penney, whose shares have slid 32% this year, has attracted investors such as George Soros' Soros Fund Management, which owns a 9.1% stake, and Perry Capital, which owns 7.3%, in recent months.

On Tuesday, Penney reported sales at stores open at least a year fell 12%.