There’s no-one happier than Bill Ackman right now about JC Penney’s new acquisition: Apple’s SVP of Retail, Ron Johnson.Ackman’s hedge fund, Pershing Square, is JC Penney’s largest shareholder — as of March, the hedge fund owned 39,075,771 shares.
Yesterday at the close of trade, that stake was worth about $1,176,600,000.
After news of the Johnson’s hiring as CEO, the stock has surged. It’s now hovering at about $35.23.
That means that since the opening bell, the value of Ackman’s stake just jumped up by about $200 million to approximately $1,376,600,000.
Not bad for half a day’s work.
Of course, Ackman always had faith in JC anyway, pretty or not.
If we learned anything about Bill Ackman at the Ira Sohn Conference, it’s this: the man isn’t blinded by pretty lights and retail glam when he’s investing. The Pershing Square manager revealed a new bullish position in Family Dollar at the event.
At the conference, he specifically noted: “They’re not the most beautiful stores… but there’s room to grow.”
And that yes, the merchandising is a little messy — “Last time I was there, I saw Dan Loeb working his way through the shelves and he couldn’t find his surfing wax” — but management is great and the investor base is becoming respectable.
Still, the fact that Apple’s retail empire generates $3.19 billion in sales for Apple (13% of the company’s total revenue), and Johnson — now JC Penney’s CEO — headed up that division, will have made Ackman giddy.
Ackman said today that JC Penney’s hiring of Johnson is “a credit to the company,” according to Bloomberg.
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