Menomonee Falls, Wis. – There’s a new bidder in the mix for Kohl’s operations, according to an exclusive report from Reuters.
Franchise Group has reportedly offered $69 per share to acquire the mid-tier department store chain, which operates more than 1,100 stores. Franchise is the owner of The Vitamin Shoppe as well as Buddy’s Home Furnishings, which offers rent-to-own furniture, appliances and electronics at more than 300 franchise and corporate locations nationwide. It also owns W.S. Badcock Corporation, a furniture retailer with approximately 65 corporate stores and over 315 independent dealer-owned stores, and American Freight, a discount furniture store chain with more than 320 stores.
Andrew Kaminsky, EVP and chief administrative officer, for Franchise Group, declined to confirm the report.
“FRG’s mandate is to enhance value for its shareholders. As part of that mandate, we regularly evaluate multiple M&A opportunities but typically do not comment on rumors,” he told HAT sister publication Furniture Today.
The offer amounts to approximately $9 billion and is subject to due diligence, sources told Reuters.
That comes in lower than the current offer from Hudson’s Bay Company, which is willing to spend at least $70 per share, Reuters reported. In addition to its flagship Canadian Hudson Bay department store chain, the company owns Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Off 5th along with a large real estate property and investment business.
Kohl’s has not commented on any of the offers publicly. It is currently locking horns with activist investor group Macellum Advisors, which is pushing for a sale of the company and has put up its own slate of board nominees. Earlier this week, Kohl’s issued a letter to investors that criticized the Macellum slate’s lack of corporate board experience and accused Macellum of taking a short-term approach to Kohl’s operations.
The company’s annual meeting is scheduled for May 11.