Starboard cuts its stake in Kohl’s after seeking to buy it in January

Starboard sold 2.8 million shares during the quarter, leaving it with 535,029 shares on June 30.

Starboard first invested in Kohl’s in the first quarter of 2022 and the firm owned 2.59% of the company’s stock, making it a top 10 holder. Investment managers are beginning to publish their quarterly holdings ahead of Monday’s filing deadline for so-called 13-F documents, which detail what they owned in US-based companies as of June 30.

In early January, before talks to take over Kohl’s intensified, the stock was trading around $50. On Friday, Kohl’s stock closed at $33.18.

On July 1, Kohl’s announced that it had canceled its Franchise Group sale, which sent the company’s stock plummeting.

In January, Acacia Research Corp, backed by Starboard, offered to buy Kohl’s for $64 a share and told the company it was confident it would secure financing for the deal. Kohl’s rejected Starboard’s overtures.

A few months later, the company agreed to deal exclusively with Franchise Group Inc, which owns Vitamin Shoppe and Buddy’s Home Furnishings. At the end of June, Franchise Group reduced its offer for Kohl’s to $53 and at the end of the month the company canceled the planned deal, citing market volatility which had made financing terms difficult.

Kohl’s defeated hedge fund Macellum Advisors’ proxy contest for board seats, thanks in part to arguments that the current board should oversee the sale process that was underway.

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