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01/25/2022

Activist investor puts more pressure on Kohl's

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Activist hedge fund Macellum Advisors has been asking Kohl’s to review strategic options, including a sale.

Things are heating up at Kohl’s.

Activist hedge fund Macellum Advisors, which has a nearly  5% stake in Kohl’s Corp., sent a letter to the retailer’s board on Tuesday in which it asked Kohl’s to publicly commit to carrying out a  “robust” process to review strategic alternatives and form a special committee of independent directors to oversee the review. The firm also wants a Macellum representative to join the board and lead the special committee. 

“We feel the best risk-adjusted path forward for shareholders right now is a credible and open process to evaluate a full sale of the Company at an attractive premium,” Macellum managing partner Jonathan Duskin wrote in the letter. Candidly, we do not have faith in the current Board to run this process on its own, nor do we believe the Board is capable of objectively evaluating possible bids relative to its historically overly optimistic assessments of management’s standalone plans,”

The letter came the day after  Acacia Research, which is backed by activest investment firm Starboard Value, confirmed an all-cash offer to buy Kohl’s for $64 a share, or roughly $9 billion, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Sycamore Partners is also pursuing the chain.

[Read More: Kohl’s confirms multiple takeover offers]

Last week, Macellum Advisors sent an open letter to Kohl's shareholders in which it said the retailer should explore strategic options, including a sale, if it does not improve its business to boost its stock price.