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Vitamin Shoppe parent enters Kohl’s bidding fray

Kimberly Chin
Apr 12, 2022
People shop at Kohl's amid the pandemic. Photo by Liu Guanguan/China News Service via Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Franchise Group has offered to buy Kohl’s for a deal valued at roughly $9 billion, joining Hudson’s Bay and several others as potential suitors, Reuters reports.

Why it's the BFD: The entrance of Franchise Group heats up the bidding race for the department store chain, as it juggles its own strategic plans with an activist hedge fund pushing for the sale of the company.

What’s happening: The owner and operator of the Vitamin Shoppe and Buddy’s Home Furnishings made an offer of $69 a share, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: Hedge fund Macellum has engaged in a proxy fight with the retailer, nominating a slate of 10 directors to the company’s 14-member board and calling on the company to be more transparent about the sales process and its overall financial picture.

  • Macellum has argued that the company is undervalued and hasn’t done enough to improve itself. It urged the company to explore a sale or split off its e-commerce business.

The other players: Private equity firm Sycamore Partners and a consortium that includes Starboard Value-backed Acacia Research are also in the race. Axios was first to report that Hudson's Bay is also pursuing a Kohl's takeover.

  • A group backed by private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners that includes Authentic Brands also made a bid for Kohl’s.
  • Kohl's did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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