Ed Lampert Fund Boosts Gap Stake

Hedge fund billionaire’s RBD adds to holding.

RBS Partners, a fund affiliated with Sears Holdings Corp. chairman Edward S. Lampert, boosted its stake in Gap Inc. by 3.3 million shares during the quarter ended June 30. RBS now holds 30.4 million shares of Gap, or 5.5 percent of the company, which was valued at $498.8 million as of Monday’s close.

This story first appeared in the August 16, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

In February, funds affiliated with Lampert held 35 million shares of the retailer, but it is not clear how that larger stake has changed in recent months. Lampert — the force behind the combination of Sears and Kmart — has been silent on his intentions toward Gap and RBS could not be reached for comment Monday.

Lampert is a noted value investor, though, and Gap has been lagging the retail field lately, having been hit hard by cost pressures. Shares of Gap slipped 0.4 percent to $16.43 Monday, as the broader market rose. The company’s stock has traded as low as $15.26 and as high as $23.73 over the past 12 months.

Lampert isn’t the only hedge fund billionaire eyeing retail. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. bought 1.5 million shares of Dollar General Corp., a stake that amounted to 0.4 percent of the company and was valued at $48.3 million.