Private-equity firm Sycamore Partners and Canada’s Hudson’s Bay plan to submit bids to buy the retailer, The Wall Street Journal reported. News of the potential bids sent Kohl’s share prices up 17% on Wednesday, March 16. The company’s share price has been a hot topic of discussion for investors as of late.
The news comes after Kohl’s already received––and denied––acquisition bids. The retailer has been battling activist investor pressures since last year after some argued the company’s share price is undervalued. Macellum Advisors nominated 10 independent candidates to the board of directors for Kohl’s after the retailer rebuffed two takeover bids in recent days. In light of the investor spat, Kohl’s adopted a shareholder rights plan that safeguards from a hostile takeover by ensuring the board of directors can conduct an orderly review of expressions of interest, including potential further engagement with interested parties.
Kohl’s will weigh the options and choose a path that maximizes shareholder value, a spokesperson told the WSJ.
Sycamore, a private-equity firm based in New York, owns several other retailers, including Lane Bryant, Express, Ann Taylor and more. Hudson Bay is a Canadian department store retailer founded in 1670. The company is owned by HBC, which also owns Saks Fifth and its associated brands.