default-output-block.skip-main
BoF Logo

The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.

Kohl’s Fends Off Activist Macellum’s Bid to Overhaul Board

Kohl's department store exterior in Minneapolis, United States
Kohl’s shareholders voted against all 10 directors nominated by Macellum, according to a preliminary tally, the retailer said in a statement. (Shutterstock)

Activist investor Macellum Capital Management’s bid to overhaul the board of Kohl’s Corp. was rejected by investors on Wednesday.

Kohl’s shareholders voted against all 10 directors nominated by Macellum, according to a preliminary tally, the retailer said in a statement. Macellum wasn’t immediately available to comment.

The results are a blow to the hedge fund, which has a Kohl’s stake of about 5 percent and has been pressuring the company for two years to overhaul its board or sell itself. The fund has lodged various complaints against the company, arguing that Kohl’s has lagged behind competitors and lacks an effective growth strategy.

“The Board remains focused on running a robust and intentional review of strategic alternatives while executing our strategy to drive shareholder value,” Kohl’s chairman Peter Boneparth said in a statement.

Shares of the Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based retailer fell 0.9 percent at 9:57 a.m. New York time. Bloomberg News reported the vote result earlier Wednesday, citing people familiar with the situation.

The company’s stock-market underperformance has garnered attention from numerous unsolicited suitors. Kohl’s said it has rejected takeover offers because they undervalued the company. Acacia Research Corp., the Starboard-backed suitor, had offered $64 a share, or about $9 billion.

Kohl’s shares had declined 23 percent through Tuesday since reaching a 52-week high of $64.06 nearly a year ago.

Macellum’s nominees to the 13-member board included Kenneth Seipel, a former vice president of Old Navy, and Jeffrey Kantor, a former Macy’s executive.

Kohl’s said Macellum’s nominees lacked retail experience. Six new directors have been added to the board in the last three years, including three as part of a 2021 settlement with Macellum and other shareholders. Kohl’s also said Macellum was pushing “for a hasty sale at any price.”

Some critics argue that Michelle Gass, the company’s chief executive officer, has failed to turn the company around since taking over four years ago. Like many retailers, Kohl’s has struggled with supply-chain issues in recent months.

The retailer has sought to drive sales by expanding its athletic wear and forming partnerships with Sephora and Amazon.

By Scott Deveau and Allison Nicole Smith

Learn more:

Kohl’s Says Adviser Goldman Has Talked to 20 Potential Buyers

Kohl’s Corp.’s financial adviser Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has engaged with more than 20 potential buyers, including various financial sponsors, fellow retailers and real-estate-focused investors, the company said in a regulatory filing.

In This Article
Topics
Organisations
Tags

© 2022 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions

More from Retail
Analysis and advice from the front lines of the retail transformation.

Aviator Nation’s pricey sweatpants and cashmeres had a cult following before they were swept up in the “dopamine dressing” phenomenon. Now, founder Paige Mycoskie – still the brand’s only shareholder – is ready to see just how big her vision for California surfer cool can get.


Small stores can remain competitive by scaling their private labels, testing new store concepts, and offering brands consumers can’t find on Farfetch or in Selfridges.



view more

The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.
CONNECT WITH US ON
How to Build a Profitable DTC Brand
© 2023 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions and Privacy policy.
How to Build a Profitable DTC Brand