New York (HedgeCo.Net) – Pershing Square Capital head William Ackman is planning to nominate himself, along with four others to the Target Corp. board of directors, in which the hedge fund holds a near 10 percent stake.
Ackman has confirmed that he is nominating former Starbucks CEO Jim Donald, Winthrop Realty Trust CEO Michael Ashner, former bank exec Richard Vague and Ronald Gilson, a professor of law at both Stanford and Columbia, to the discount retailer’s board.
Ackman has been vocal about his intent to spruce up Target’s management in an effort to boost share prices and returns for his investors, while giving the company a better chance at competing with fellow discount chain Wal-Mart.
While Target has experienced lagging stock prices and lower-than-expected sales this past year, they are “disappointed that Pershing Square has decided to pursue a costly and disruptive proxy contest, especially in light of our previous dialogue,” according to a statement. They also said they have been responsive to shareholders while partaking in discussions with the hedge fund over the last 20 months.
Ackman has already allowed investors in his Pershing Square IV Fund to withdraw their capital when the fund, which was invested solely in Target, turned out to be “one of the greatest disappointments of [his] career,” after plunging over 90 percent this year.
Ackman stated that despite the performance, he still has confidence in Target and believes that the new slate of directors will bring an experience to the board that the company is currently lacking.
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