A consortium backed by activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP has offered roughly $9 billion to buy department store Kohl’s Corp. /zigman2/quotes/210414114/composite KSS +16.54% , according to people familiar with the matter.
A group led by Acacia Research Corp. /zigman2/quotes/210483059/composite ACTG +0.52% , which Starboard controls, offered to buy the department-store chain for $64 a share in cash Friday, the people said. It told the company it has received assurances from bankers that it would be able to get financing for the bid, the people said.
There are no guarantees that the group will ultimately line up all the funding needed and make a firm offer or that Kohl’s will be receptive. Other suitors may emerge, too.
Kohl’s shares closed at $46.84 Friday. The bid represents a 37% premium.
Based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Kohl’s has been under pressure to boost its share price, which rose early last year but is little changed from roughly two decades ago. Two activist shareholders — Macellum Advisors GP LLC and Engine Capital LP — have recently called on the company to explore selling itself .
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