Kohl’s Says It Has Received A Number Of Preliminary Takeover Bids

Kohl’s revealed on Monday that it has received a number of preliminary offers from parties interested in buying the department store chain.

In a news release, Kohl’s stated that the ideas are nonbinding and do not include any guarantees of funding. Goldman Sachs bankers have been appointed by the company’s board of directors to coordinate with bidders.

A person familiar with the talks told CNBC that Hudson’s Bay Co., a Canadian department store operator controlled by HBC, is one of the bidders. According to reports last week, private equity firm Sycamore is considering an offer that would value the company at over $9 billion. Kohl’s market worth was hovering at $8.1 billion on Monday.

HBC and Sycamore spokespeople declined to comment. Kohl’s also refused to comment on the parties involved.

The recent surge in interest comes after Kohl’s rejected a $64 per share bid from Starboard-backed Acacia Research. Since then, Kohl’s has pursued its own measures to increase earnings and attract new customers. It set new long-term financial goals for its business earlier this month, including increasing sales by a low single-digit percentage yearly.

Activists, notably hedge fund Macellum Advisors, pushed Kohl’s to consider selling itself earlier this year as its stock price trailed behind those of other big-box stores. Kohl’s may unleash more value from its real estate, according to the businesses.

Macellum, which holds around 5 per cent of Kohl’s stock, attempted to gain control of the board of directors last month by nominating ten directors.

Kohl’s sent a separate letter to its shareholders on Monday, describing Macellum’s actions as “unjustified, unwarranted, and deeply disturbing.” The company is pushing shareholders to vote for all of its board nominees ahead of its annual meeting on May 11.

Its stock is up approximately 26 per cent year to far, closing at $62.43 on Friday.

(Adapted from CNBC.com)

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