According to a Wall Street Journal report, a consortium backed by activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP is offering $9 billion for Kohl's Corporation NYSE: KSS.
People familiar with the developments tell WSJ that Acacia Research Corp NASDAQ: ACTG has led the offer, an effort spearheaded by CEO Clifford Press.
Acacia Research Corp, a company controlled by Starboard Value LP, offered to buy the department-store chain for $64 a share in cash Friday.
Acacia told the retailer the largest department store chain in the U.S. with 1,158 locations it has received assurances from bankers that there is sufficient funding for the bid, according to sources.
Before Starboard invested in Acacia and joined its board in 2019, the company was primarily a holding company for patents.
Activists have proposed that Kohl's explore sale-leasebacks of its real estate, which they estimate could be worth $7 billion or more.
According to the report, Kohl s management is under fire from activist investor Macellum Advisors, which has been urging Kohl s to make board changes or consider a sale in a letter to shareholders in recent weeks.
Kohl's strategy is producing results and that its board regularly works with specialized advisers to evaluate paths that have the potential to create long-term value, according to WSJ.