J.C. Penney & Co. (NYSE:JCP): Current price $22.66
Chief Executive Ron Johnson was accused by attorneys for Macy’s of cooking up a futile plot to trick the latter’s Chief Executive Terry Lundgren into abandoning its own exclusive home-goods line with Stewart. This was on the first day of the three-week breach-of-contract trial between Penney’s, Macy’s, and Martha Stewart Living in New York. Also on the opening day, Macy’s attorneys pointed to a stack of e-mails as evidence of Johnson’s failed scheme to assertively hype Penney’s new Stewart tie-up in the press, overshadowing her long-running Macy’s line. An email to Bill Ackman on December 7, 2011 had Johnson remarking that, “We put Terry in a corner.” The hedge-fund tycoon Ackman was Penney’s largest shareholder. Incidentally, that was the day after Penney’s made the surprise announcement that it had reached a $200 million licensing deal with Stewart while at the same time pouring $38.5 million into her cash-strapped company.
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