Kohl’s shares soar 33% as retailer gets multiple takeover bids

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Kohl’s shares on Monday soared more than 33% as suitors come out in force with bids to acquire the budget department store.

The Wisconsin-based retailer confirmed on Monday that is has received “letters expressing interest in acquiring the company,” but declined to comment further.

The letters come on the heels of activist investor Macellum Advisors’ demands for change at Kohl’s on Jan. 18, including putting itself on the block.

Since then two activist investors, Sycamore and Acacia Research, have submitted competing bids to acquire the struggling retailer.

On Friday, Acacia, which is backed by Starboard Value, submitted a bid to acquire Kohl’s for $9 billion at $64 a share, or $17 more than its closing price on Friday, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Over the weekend, Sycamore offered to acquire Kohl’s for $65 a share, according to a CNBC report. 

“The Kohl’s board of directors will determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders,” the company said in a statement.

A Kohl's app on a smart phone.
Kohl’s has confirmed that it received offers but has declined to comment further.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

Kohl’s became a target of activist investors last year when it added three independent directors at the urging of Macellum and other investors, including Engine Capital, which on Sunday urged the department store to take the bids seriously and run a sale process, according to reports.

The investors argue that Kohl’s has underperformed compared to its competitors and have pushed the retailer to consider selling some of its real estate portfolio. Macy’s has come under pressure from investors to do the same. The largest department store company has sold some of its stores but has rejected calls for it to do so on a wider scale.

Kohl’s has rebuffed this idea as well and has said it plans to disclose its strategy on its investor day on March 7.

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