(Article updated to include Fortune Brands purchase.)
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Activist investor Bill Ackman's hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management has disclosed a significant stake in retailer J.C. Penney (JCP - Get Report) and spirits-maker Fortune Brands (FO).
According to a 13D filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the fund bought about 39 million shares in J.C. Penney, (including 4.1 million in options and about 600,000 shares under a swap arrangement), bringing its total stake in the retailer to 16.8%. A 13D filing typically signifies activist intent.
The purchase makes Pershing the company's largest shareholder.
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