- Canadian department store company Hudson's Bay Co. is prepping a bid for Kohl's, a source familiar with the process confirmed by email. Axios first reported the news on Wednesday.
- In an emailed statement, Kohl's didn't rule that out. "As previously disclosed, the Board's engagement with potential bidders is robust and ongoing," a spokesperson said. "The Board will measure potential bids against a compelling standalone plan and choose the path that it believes maximizes shareholder value."
- Kohl's has already rejected two takeover bids, which came in recent weeks amid activist pressure.
If Kohl's were to join the HBC stable, it could be in for dramatic changes to its operations.
The Canadian company lately has moved to separate the e-commerce and brick-and-mortar businesses at its various banners, a move that several observers have welcomed as a way to unlock value at other department stores as well. In fact, activists have pressured Kohl's to consider a similar move. After hiring the firm responsible for helping with various splits at HBC, Macy's last month rejected the idea.
But Kohl's is also under pressure from investors to consider an outright sale, and the company recently said it's actively doing so. Last week, the company filed a notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission stating that it has retained Goldman Sachs to "engage with interested parties" and has met with more than 20 potential bidders.
Before that, however, Kohl's board also recently adopted a poison pill after receiving what it slammed as inadequate offers from Acacia Research, owned by activist firm Starboard Value, and, reportedly, from private equity firm Sycamore Partners.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include information from a source familiar with the sale process.