Kohl’s has gotten “multiple” preliminary offers from entities looking to acquire the department store chain, company officials confirmed Monday (March 21), according to a company press release.
The proposals are “non-binding and without committed financing,” the company press release says, adding that Kohl’s has hired Goldman Sachs to coordinate the next steps with buyers.
Canadian department store chain Hudson’s Bay Company is one of the “multiple” bidders, a person familiar with the talks told CNBC for its report Monday. Private equity firm Sycamore Partners had been rumored to be considering a bid last week when reports surfaced about interest by Hudson’s Bay, but it’s unclear if it was among the bidders to submit proposals by Kohl’s Wednesday deadline.
Kohl’s wouldn’t reveal the identities of the bidders to CNBC and spokespeople for both Hudson’s Bay parent HBC and Sycamore Partners declined comment on the situation.
Acacia Research recently offered Kohl’s $64 and $65 per share but those offers were deemed too low by company officials, who are said to be seeking more than $70 per share. Activist investors in Kohl’s, including Macellum, have been pushing for Kohl’s to sell, saying its real estate would boost the value of the entity for buyers.
Kohl’s stock was trading a little below $63 mid-morning Monday, which would value the company in the range of $8.75 billion.
Kohl’s officials said earlier this month that investment bank Goldman Sachs spent January, February and March talking to more than 20 parties about its next steps, adding it had provided a few of them access to more financial data.
In December, activist investors urged Kohl’s, the second-largest U.S. department store chain, to either sell itself outright or consider a spin-off of its eCommerce division in a bid to boost its stock price.
Additionally, New York-based hedge fund Engine Capital called on Kohl’s to either sell the company or separate its eCommerce business in response to its failing stock price.