The move places Soros among J.C. Penney’s five largest shareholders. In after-hours trading, shares of the discount department store chain surged, zooming up 7%.
The stock had closed up a third of a percent, or 5 cents, at $15.24 a share.
Fellow hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, through his Pershing Square Capital Management firm, currently owns nearly 18% of J.C. Penney.
The retailer has been roiled by changes this month. Chief Executive Ron Johnson was replaced by Myron E. Ullman III after a year and a half of slumping sales, confused customers and concerned murmurings on Wall Street.
Several executives instituted during Johnson’s tenure have since left the company as well.