Kohl's main bidders said to be on sidelines due to financing concerns - report (update)

May 21, 2022 11:33 AM ETKohl's Corporation (KSS)ACTG, SPG, BAM, FRG, BAM.A:CABy: Joshua Fineman, SA News Editor69 Comments

Kohl"s store front

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Update 11:30am: Adds updated details from Women's Wear Daily article.

Kohl's (NYSE:KSS) main potential bidders are said to be on the sidelines because they are having trouble getting financing for a deal, according to a CNBC report.

A deal can't get financing in the $60s/share, according to CNBC's Sara Eisen, citing a person close to the process. The lenders are said to not have confidence in Kohl's numbers after company reported its Q1 results on Thursday.

Nobody has walked away from the process at this point, though the prominent retailer bidders are on a hold at this time, according to Eisen. Kohl's (KSS) shares plunged 13%.

The CNBC report comes after the NY Post reported late Thursday that the department store chain's Q1 results may dissuade potential suitors from making offers.

One source familiar with sales process told the NY Post that they were "shocked" by Kohl's results and the person didn't believe any acceptable bids would be offered to the retailer. A lending source at an unidentified bank also told the paper that banks are not lining up to finance a huge acquisition in the current market environment.

The NY Post item comes after Women's Wear Daily earlier on Thursday reported that Kohl's (KSS) may be leaning toward remaining independent. Kohl's Chairman Peter Boneparth is said to be against selling the department store chain, according to the report, which cited a source familiar.

Kohl's declined to comment to WWD on any speculation, though one source close to the retailer's board said the board and its chairman are "100 percent focused on choosing the path that will maximize value" for holders.

The reports come after Kohl's earlier Thursday said it expects “fully-financed final bids to be submitted in the coming weeks.” The activist pushing for the company to sell itself was dealt a blow last week when Kohl's holders rejected all of Macellum's 10 board nominees.

Last month the NY Post reported that KSS received an offer from Simon Property (SPG) and Brookfield Asset Management (BAM) for $68/share.

Other bidders reportedly bidding for Kohl's (KSS) in recent months include Hudson's Bay, Sycamore Partners, Acacia Research (ACTG) and Starboard Value, possibly Leonard Green and Franchise Group (FRG).

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