Menomonee Falls, Wis. – An activist investor group is making its final pitch in the battle for Kohl’s future ahead of the May 11 shareholder meeting.
Macellum Advisors has been pushing Kohl’s to pursue an acquisition for months and has put forward its own slate of board nominees – including former Macy’s Inc. exec Jeffrey Kantor. Advisory groups have weighed in on the proposition, one in favor of taking on at least a few Macellum candidates and he tone against. The recommendation against, made by Glass Lewis, argued that adding new board members while the review of bids is already underway could bog down the process.
Early this morning, Macellum issued a final appeal to Kohl’s shareholders, asserting that a vote for its nominees will not change the outcome of a sale. On the contrary, it warned, reelecting the current board members might prompt “a sudden change of heart” about selling off the company altogether.
“Keep in mind that earlier this year, the board abruptly rejected indications of interest from two credible and well-capitalized acquirers before apparently providing sufficient access to management, a robust data room and other information that could have informed upward adjustments to such offers,” Macellum stated.
The equity firm also pointed to a Morgan Stanley analyst prediction that if board fails to accept an acquisition bid, Kohl’s share price could drop into the low to mid $40 range, destroying more than $1.5 billion in value. Offers being entertained for Kohl’s have reportedly reached up to $69 per share.
“[Y]ou should want Macellum nominees in the boardroom,” today’s pitch stated.
As of post time today, Kohl’s had not responded to Macellum’s latest salvo. At the end of last week, the retailer highlighted Glass Lewis’ assessment of the situation in its effort to urge shareholders to stick with incumbent board members.
“In our view, and contrary to the dissident’s assertions, the company has been reasonably transparent regarding various key aspects of the sale process, and we see no substantive evidence to suggest the board is not actively soliciting/entertaining any and all credible offers,” the proxy advisory firm concluded.
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