Jan 24, 2022 - Economy & Business

Kohl's gets $9 billion takeover offer

An illustration of a mall building with sale signs

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Kohl's received a $9 billion takeover offer from Acacia Research Corp., backed by activist investor Starboard Value. It reportedly may receive a rival bid from buyout firm Sycamore Partners.

Why it matters: Kohl's is one of the country's largest off-mall department store operators, with over 1,100 stores in 49 states, and has innovated by partnering with brands like Amazon and Sephora to create mini stores-within-stores. It's also been a steady target of activist investors.

Details: Acacia offered $64 per share for Kohl's, compared to Friday's $46.84 closing price, while Sycamore reportedly may bid $65. Shares are up at the open Monday, but there's still more than a $10 gap on the bids.

The bottom line: Whoever ends up with Kohl's is likely to follow a similar strategy to what Richard Baker is attempting with Hudson's Bay and what Eddie Lampert unsuccessfully tried with Sears, splitting apart its assets (real estate, brands, etc.) to unlock added value.

Richard Collings authors the new Axios Pro newsletter on retail deals. Subscribe at AxiosPro.com.

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