Shares of Kohl’s are up more than 12% before the opening bell today after the retailer said that it is in advanced talks to be sold in a deal worth about $8 billion.
The Wisconsin chain said late Monday that it was in a three-week exclusive takeover period with the owner of Vitamin Shoppe for $60 per share.
The buyer, the Franchise Group Inc., which focuses on franchise companies, will make final financing arrangements and complete due diligence before signing off on the deal during that period.
Last month Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass said that the company had received multiple offers from parties looking to buy the business. At the time the department store chain said that its board was working with Goldman Sachs to explore strategic alternatives, which had included engaging with 25 parties. The board had requested fully-financed final bids to be submitted.
In May Kohl’s also announced that its shareholders rejected all 10 board nominees pushed by activist investor Macellum Advisors. The hedge fund has urged Kohl’s to explore strategic options, including a sale, if the chain didn’t take action to improve its business and increase its stock price. Macellum Advisors, which owns 5% of Kohl’s shares, had put up its own slate of board nominees.
Kohl’s has more than 1,100 stores in 49 states.
The potential deal between Kohl’s and Franchise Group needs approval from the boards of both companies.