By  on September 25, 2011

William Ackman has taken it to the limit.

The billionaire activist investor’s Pershing Square Capital Management said Friday that it had effectively boosted its stake in J.C. Penney Co. Inc.’s stock to 26.1 percent, the maximum allowed under an agreement reached with the retailer last month, through a series of “cash-settled total return swaps.” The swaps added exposure to 16.6 million “notional shares” to the 39.1 million, or 18.3 percent, that Pershing Square already held, driving Ackman’s holdings to just under 55.7 million shares.

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