Hudson's Bay, Sycamore Prepare Takeover Bids for Kohl's
Private-equity firm Sycamore Partners and Canada’s Hudson’s Bay plan to submit takeover bids for Kohl’s Corp that could value the department store chain above $9 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Sycamore and Hudson's Bay plan to bid in the high $60s a share for Kohl’s, which asked suitors to submit offers by Wednesday, the people said. It couldn’t be learned whether other suitors plan to bid. Despite the interest, a deal is far from guaranteed. Kohl’s has indicated to suitors it believes the company is worth over $70 a share, one of the people said.
Total Retail's Take: Kohl's board has been active in soliciting and reviewing bids for the department store chain, as well as weighing the company's future outlook based on a recently announced forecast as a standalone entity. While majority investors are hoping for top dollar on a potential sale, they also have been vocal with their criticism of Kohl's current leadership and direction, and thus may not want to take the risk of holding out for the best price if it means losing the sale. Furthermore, the future of the department store model is very much in question, with brands increasingly opting to sell their products direct to consumer, bypassing traditional brick-and-mortar outlets. And that's before taking into account declining foot traffic at many department stores, particularly mall-based locations. What a potential acquisition means for Kohl's' future is unclear, but it appears we may have some more clarity on this soon.