Kohl's shares rally on takeover interest
Kohl’s share price soared in early morning trading on Monday after a private equity firm was reported to be lining up a rival bid for the in-demand US department store chain.
Sycamore Partners was reported to be close to making a bid, according to Bloomberg and Reuters, just days after Acacia Research, a consortium backed by activist investor Starboard Value, was understood to have offered around $64 per share for the retailer.
The Acacia Research offer, a 37% premium to its 21 January closing price, values Kohl’s at around $9bn. Kohl's has more than 1,100 stores in 49 states.
The swirl of takeover interest sent the shares soaring as trading got underway in New York on Monday and by 1445 GMT they had put on 33% at $63.60.
In a brief statement issued on Monday, Kohl’s confirmed it had received "letters expressing interest in acquiring the company" and said it would now "determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the company and its shareholders". It did not comment further.
Sycamore and Acacia have so far yet to comment.
Activist shareholder Macellum Advisors, which owns around 5% of Kohl’s stock, last week urged the company explore strategic options, including a possible sale.
Kohl’s has previously said that it believes its strategy is "producing results" and that management and the board "refused to be distracted".