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William Ackman, owner of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital, announced last week that he now owns a 5 million share stake in Sears Holdings, approximately 3.5 percent of the company’s outstanding shares.
Pershing Square, along with Hawkeye Capital Management and Knott Partners Management, opposed a controversial $908 million buyout of Sears Canada by Sears Holdings last year. At that time, the group said Sears Holdings’ $18-per-share offer for the Canadian division's outstanding stock was too low.
Although the buyout offer was driven at that time by Sears chairman Edward Lampert, Ackman said he was “thrilled” with Lampert’s leadership and is “looking forward to working with him.” Lampert, who runs the hedge fund ESL Investments, has a 46 percent stake and full control of Sears Holdings.
In its second quarter, Sears Holdings saw revenue drop 4.6 percent to $12.2 billion from $12.8 billion in the same period last year. Net income fell to $174 million from $294 million, a 40 percent drop from the same period last year.