Discounter Target is asking its shareholders to vote to limit its board to 12 directors and not 13 as activist shareholder William Ackman would like.

Ackman, who runs hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, is also a stakeholder in Sears Canada and Borders and holds nearly 8 per cent of Target’s outstanding shares. He wants to nominate his own five candidates, including himself, to the board.

However, Target, which wants to re-elect four of the present directors, said the limit should be 12 and is not counting the vacancy left by former chairman and chief executive Robert J Ulrich. Ackman wants changes at Target, which he believes is undervalued.