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Buyout offers undermine value of business: Kohl’s

NEW YORK (AP) – Kohl’s said that recent offers to purchase the department store chain undervalue its business and that it is adopting a shareholder rights plan to head off any hostile takeovers.

The shareholder rights plan, known as a “poison pill”, is effective immediately and set to expire on February 2, 2023, the company said on Friday.

Kohl’s has received multiple buyout offers in recent weeks. Private equity firm Sycamore Partners reportedly approached Kohl’s about a potential deal last month. A group called Acacia Research, backed by activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP, bid USD64 per share, or about USD9 billion.

At the time Kohl’s Corp, based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, said that its board was reviewing the offers.

The offers came just a week after activist hedge fund Macellum Advisors released a letter urging Kohl’s to explore strategic options, including a sale, if the chain doesn’t take action to improve its business and increase its stock price.

Macellum Advisors said it planned to nominate a slate of director candidates at Kohl’s shareholders meeting this year, unless Kohl’s decides to embrace some changes.

A shopper arrives at a Kohl’s store in West Des Moines, Iowa. PHOTO: AP