Express adopts poison pill

Marianne Wilson
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Express Inc. is adopting a shareholder rights plan amid a slump in the company’s share price during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The apparel retailer said the plan, also referred to as a poison pill, is intended to reduce the likelihood that any person or group would gain control of Express through open market accumulations during the current market volatility. It noted that the plan has not been adopted in response in response to any specific takeover bid or other proposal.

“Given the current environment, and to ensure the company can continue to execute on its new long-term strategy, The EXPRESSway Forward, the board believes adopting the rights plan at this time is in the best interests of all Express shareholders,” Express stated.

Several other publicly traded retailers, including Chico’s FAS, Tailored Brands and Groupon, have adopted similar plans during the pandemic as stores remain closed indefinitely.  

The Express rights plan has a one-year term, expiring on April 19, 2021. The board may consider an earlier termination of the plan if market and other conditions warrant, the company stated.