Activist investor Macellum urges Kohl's to explore sale, other options


(Reuters) -Activist hedge fund Macellum Advisors GP LLC said on Tuesday that Kohl's Corp should explore strategic options, including a sale, if the retailer does not improve its business to boost its stock price.

The push comes months after the department store chain reached a deal with a group of activist investors, including Macellum, agreeing to add two of the group's nominees to its board as independent directors.

Macellum said on Tuesday that Kohl's stock price had slid more than 20% since reaching that deal in April 2021, adding that the company had spent another year "materially mismanaging the business."

The investor said it planned to nominate a slate of director candidates at a shareholders meeting this year, confirming a Reuters report from December, unless Kohl's decides to work with it to implement certain changes.

Kohl's can optimize its balance sheet by monetizing $4 billion of its real estate and returning the proceeds to shareholders through a buyback, which could boost its stock to $100 apiece, Macellum said.

Shares in Kohl's, which last closed at $47.77, rose about 2% premarket on Tuesday.

The retailer did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Macellum, which holds nearly 5% of outstanding Kohl's common shares, has previously brought about changes at Bed Bath & Beyond and Big Lots.

U.S.-based hedge fund Engine Capital LP last year also suggested Kohl's consider a sale of the company or separate its e-commerce division.

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)


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