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01/24/2022

Kohl’s confirms multiple takeover offers

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Kohl’s has received takeover offers from two parties.

Kohl’s Corp. has received takeover offers from at least two parties.

The department store retailer on Monday released a short statement saying it has “received letters expressing interest in acquiring the company.” Kohl’s said its board of directors “will determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders.” The retailer also said it doesn’t plan to further comment publicly on the letters.

According to a report by CNBC, private equity firm Sycamore is willing to pay at least $65 per share for Kohl’s. The price implies a 39% premium to the stock’s last close of $46.84.

The Sycamore offers comes two days after Acacia Research Corp., backed by activist investment firm Starboard Value, offered to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of Kohl’s for $64 per share in cash. Acacia’s CEO Clifford Press, stated that Kohl’s is an attractive company and expressed interest in participating in a productive, private dialogue regarding a transaction.

Last week, activist hedge fund Macellum Advisors, which has a roughly 5% stake in Kohl’s, 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. The move comes about 10 months after Kohl’s reached a deal with a group of activist investors that included Macellum to add two of the group's nominees to its board as independent directors.

In its letter, Macellum said that Kohl’s stock price has declined approximately 22% since reaching the deal for the two nominees in April 2021. It said that the company has spent another year "materially mismanaging the business and failing to implement necessary operational, financial and strategic improvements.”

Kohl’s, in its response, noted its growing sales and profitability in the fiscal third quarter and said that “based on our performance in 2021, we are positioned to exceed our key 2023 financial goals two years ahead of plan.”