Activist investor urges sale of Kohl’s department store chain

Activist investor urges sale of Kohl’s department store chain

THE WHAT Activist Investor Engine Capital is pushing for the sale of Kohl’s Corp department store chain, or the separation of its e-commerce business, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. 

THE DETAILS A letter sent to Kohl’s board stated that the investor wants the company to consider one of the two options in order to improve its struggling stock price. 

Kohl’s is said to be falling behind other competitors, with its stock price closing last week at US48.45, approximately where it was 10 years ago. 

According to Engine Capital, the company could command approximately US$12.4 billion for the digital business alone, and that private-equity firms would pay at least US$75 a share. The company also drew on the potential of monetizing Kohl’s real estate. 

THE WHY The move of divesting an e-commerce business from its retail stores has been showcased by the likes of the Arcadia Group, Debenhams in the UK and Saks Fifth Avenue earlier this year, with the saks.com website. 

Taking to a statement, Kohl’s said that its board and management team continually examined all options for maximising shareholder value. 

It continued, “We appreciate the ongoing dialogue we are having with our shareholders and value their input and perspectives.” 

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