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Kohl's confirms interest from multiple buyers 'without committed financing' – BizTimes Milwaukee

Kohl’s headquarters
Kohl’s headquarters in Menomonee Falls.

Menomonee Falls-based Kohl’s Corp. on Monday morning released an update on its ongoing review of potential sale opportunities. 

The retailer acknowledged receiving “multiple preliminary indications of interest.” Those proposals are non-binding and without committed financing, according to a news release. 

The update comes a month after Kohl’s rejected two purchase offers – from Acacia Research Corp. for $64 per share and Sycamore Partners for $65 per share – in pursuit of better opportunities. The company also adopted a “poison pill” to avoid a future hostile takeover, while still allowing the board to consider qualified offers.

The rejection was in spite of mounting pressure by activist investor Macellum Capital Management to improve performance or consider a full sale of the company, and Kohl’s has repeatedly said it’s committed to doing so, having tapped its Finance Committee to lead an open review of potential sale opportunities and retained Goldman Sachs to engage with interested parties. 

In its preliminary proxy statement filed earlier this month, Kohl’s said it has been in talks with roughly 20 potential buyers since January. 

“The Board has authorized Goldman Sachs to coordinate with select bidders who have submitted indications of interest to assist with further due diligence so that they have the opportunity to refine and improve their proposals and include committed financing and binding documentation,” the company said Monday. 

Last week, Axios reported that Canadian department store Hudson Bay, the parent company of Saks Fifth Avenue, is reportedly considering a bid for Kohl’s. 

Kohl’s stock, which had jumped from the high $40s to more than $63 when the bids were announced in January, fell from the high to the low $50 range following Kohl’s March 7 investor day where Kohl’s execs provided updates on the company’s turnaround strategy, including plans to open 100 smaller-format stores and grow its partnership with Sephora to $2 billion. Kohl’s also said its earnings per share would grow mid-to-high single digits and authorized a $3 billion share repurchase program.

Shares again jumped into the $60s following the Axios report and have since remained steady, opening Monday at $63.

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