Menomonee Falls-based Kohl’s Corp. announced Monday that its board has entered into exclusive negotiations to be sold to Delaware, Ohio-based Franchise Group, Inc.
Franchise Group, a holding company of several retail brands including The Vitamin Shoppe and Pet Supplies Plus, is offering to purchase Kohl’s for $60 per share, or about $8 billion.
Kohl’s said it will negotiate with Franchise Group for a three-week period.
“The purpose of the exclusive period is to allow FRG and its financing partners to finalize due diligence and financing arrangements and for the parties to complete the negotiation of binding documentation,” Kohl’s said in a news release. “The transaction remains subject to approvals of the boards of directors of both companies. There can be no assurances that any agreement will be reached or that a transaction will be agreed or completed on the terms set forth above or otherwise…Kohl’s Board of Directors remains focused on selecting the path that maximizes value for all Kohl’s shareholders.”
Franchise Group Inc. is just one of several interested parties that have made offers to purchase Kohl’s in recent months.
The news about Kohl’s negotiations with Franchise Group comes less than a month after Kohl’s shareholders re-elected all 13 of its incumbent board directors over 10 candidates nominated by activist investor Macellum Capital Management. The vote marked the end of a months-long proxy war with Macellum, which owns about 5% of Kohl’s stock and had been campaigning to overhaul the board in order to improve performance or pursue a full sale of the company.
In the midst of its proxy fight, Kohl’s said it had been vetting several potential suitors for a possible sale, having retained Goldman Sachs to engage with bidders. CEO Michelle Gass said the company has engaged with more than 25 parties since January.