William Ackman sure has been busy in the retail real estate world of late. His named has popped up in the ongoing General Growth saga and he's tried to influence Target's real estate strategy. In his latest move, Ackman is attempting to get himself and four others placed on Target's board of directors.
Hedge-fund manager William Ackman plans to nominate himself and four others to the board of Target Corp., the discount chain whose performance has trailed Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Ackman, who heads Pershing Square Capital Management LP, told Bloomberg Television today that he will propose Richard Vague, a former bank executive; Jim Donald, who served as chief executive officer at Starbucks Corp.; Michael Ashner, chairman and CEO of Winthrop Realty Trust Inc.; and Ronald Gilson, a law professor at Stanford University and Columbia University.
The slate would bring expertise in credit cards, real estate and food sales, areas where the retailer needs to improve, Ackman said. He has pressed Target's management to sell its credit-card portfolio, buy back shares and place the land under its stores into a real estate investment trust that would lease the property back to the retailer.
“We thought Target would be where Wal-Mart has been during these very difficult economic times,” Ackman said. “This is not your classic proxy contest. This is a management team we have a very high regard for.”
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