JC Penney lowers threshold for 'poison pill'

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NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney is bolstering its shareholder rights plan, or "poison pill" — typically an effort to thwart takeover attempts.

The shareholder rights plan can now be put into effect if an individual or group acquires 4.9 percent or more of its outstanding stock. That's down from a 10 percent threshold.

The corporate defense strategy allows existing shareholders to buy more shares at a very low price if that occurs.

J.C. Penney said Tuesday that the purpose of lowering the threshold is to protect its ability to use certain funds that can be used for tax benefits.

The Plano, Texas-based department store chain is cutting jobs and closing stores in an effort to return to profitability.

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