PLANO, Texas–William Ackman, founder and chief executive officer of Pershing Square Capital Management, and Steven Roth, chairman of Vornado Realty Trust, have been appointed to the J.C. Penney board of directors.
A J.C. Penney statement said Pershing Square (described in press reports as an “activist” investment firm) and Vornado are among the retailer’s largest shareholders. Myron Ullman, J.C. Penney’s chairman and chief executive officer, said Ackman and Roth “share our passion for operational excellence and are committed to enhancing value for all of the company’s shareholders.”
According to October filings by both investment firms with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Pershing Square acquired a 16.5 percent stake in J.C. Penney and Vornado purchased 7.9 percent of J.C. Penney’s shares. Both transactions took place last August, according to press reports. Both filings said the reason for their purchases was that they believed J.C. Penney’s shares “are undervalued and are an attractive investment.”