Axios Pro: Retail Deals
May 02, 2022
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Hello, Retail readers!

Situational awareness: The Met Gala is tonight, a massive red carpet event that brings out the biggest stars from sports, entertainment and fashion. It also brings out wads of cash from brands and designers seeking celebrity PR.

1 big thing: SpartanNash's activists push settlement

Illustration of businessmen chasing after a wagon full of money.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Macellum and Ancora are urging SpartanNash's board to form a special committee to explore strategic alternatives, the pair of activist investors said today.

Why it matters: The activists said they would abandon the proxy fight they have waged and agree to a settlement that includes establishing the proposed committee as well as naming a new shareholder representative.

  • Asking for a settlement is a shift in Macellum and Ancora's strategy, though the statement they issued notes that their "desire to collaborate" has been rebuffed before.

Catch up fast: Macellum and Ancora filed a definitive proxy statement on April 19, which nominated three candidates to the target's board, urging shareholders to vote the "blue" proxy card.

Between the lines: Last week United Natural Foods and PE firm Oak Street Real Estate Capital were reported to be interested in either buying SpartanNash or its parts.

  • It's that interest that is spurring the hedge funds to push for a settlement, they claim.

What we're watching: Is this a sign that the investors' proxy fight is failing to gain traction, or an attempt to show shareholders the extent of SpartanNash's resistance to a sale?

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