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The Associated Press October 8, 2010, 11:29AM ET

Shares of Fortune Brands rise on Ackman stake

Shares of Fortune Brands Inc. rose nearly 8 percent on Friday after a report that activist investor William Ackman became the largest shareholder in the company.

Pershing Square confirmed a report on CNBC that William Ackman and his activist hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management took an 11 percent stake in the owner of brands ranging from Jim Beam bourbon to Titleist golf products.

Shares rose $4.04, or 7.8 percent, to $56.04 during midday trading. The stock has traded between $37.05 and $58.92 during the past 52 weeks.

Fortune Brands said in July that its second-quarter profit more than doubled as revenue increased and costs fell. The results beat expectations and the company, based in Deerfield, Ill., raised its full-year forecast.

Fortune Brands' stock is up 16 percent since the beginning of the year.

The report came the same day that Ackman disclosed a 17 percent stake in department-store operator J.C. Penney. Ackman has agitated for major changes at retailers he holds stakes in, such as Borders Group Inc. and Target Corp.

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