NEW YORK Oct 13 J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N) has
hired investment bank Goldman Sachs (GS.N) to prepare for a
potential fight with activist investor William Ackman, Women's
Wear Daily reported on Wednesday, citing sources.
Ackman's Pershing Square Capital said last week it had
taken a 16.5 percent stake in the department store chain. He is
building an alliance with Vornado Realty Trust, (VNO.N) which
on Friday disclosed it held 9.9 percent of Penney's shares.
Ackman, now the retailer's biggest investor, has already
told the Plano, Texas-based company that he plans to look hard
at its assets and financial condition.
Penney Chief Executive Myron Ullman is planning to meet
with Ackman and Vornado chairman Steven Roth within two weeks,
Women's Wear Daily reported, citing a source.
Know for his savvy in making real estate bets, Ackman said
at a conference on Tuesday that Penney has a "better real
estate" portfolio than some competitors like Macy's Inc. (M.N).
Penney owns about 416 of the 1,108 department stores it
operates and Vornado is a major landlord.
Ackman first started buying Penney shares on Aug. 17 for
$20.01. Shares have risen 69.8 percent since then.
Penney shares were trading for $33.20 in late morning
trading on Wednesday.
Representatives for both Penney and Goldman declined to
(Reporting by Phil Wahba; Editing by Derek Caney)