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Coles receives $ 9 billion bid from Starford Value Group


The activist hedge fund has provided about $ 9 billion to buy a federal department store with the support of Starboard Value LP.

Coles Corp.

KSS -2.60%

, According to those who know the matter.

A group led by Starford-controlled Acacia Research Corp offered to buy the department-store chain for $ 64 a share on Friday, people said. People told the company that they had received assurances from bankers that they would be able to raise funds for the auction.

There is no guarantee that the team will eventually deploy all the necessary funds and make a definite offer or accept the goal. Other matches may also emerge.

Shares of Cole closed at $ 46.84 on Friday. The auction represents a 37% premium.

Menomonee Falls, Wis. Based on, Kohl’s is under pressure to raise its share price, which rose at the beginning of last year, but has not changed slightly from what it was approximately two decades ago. Two aspiring partners – Michellam Advisors GB LLC and Engine Capital LP-The company was recently called Explore Sells itself.

Coles said earlier this week that its strategy yields results and that its team “continues to work with specialized consultants to evaluate pathways capable of generating long-term value.” It said it plans to unveil its strategic plans on Investor Day in March.

The market value of the little-known Acacia is just $ 215 million, but the consortium told Coliseum that it was known as the “most trusted” letter from a bank. Auction, people said. While such letters are not guaranteed, they are a meaningful vote of confidence.

Led by CEO Jeff Smith, Starford is one of the most visible aspiring investors in value.


Christopher Gutney / Bloomberg News

Other details of the federation’s proposal — and those on the board — could not be disclosed. Reuters announced earlier this week that Acacia was exploring a possible bid for the goal.

If it succeeds, the group may aim to sell the company’s real estate to another party, which will facilitate the transaction. Activists are proposing to explore the sale-lease of Colin real estate, which they estimate could be worth $ 7 billion or more.

In an open letter to Cole’s shareholders on Tuesday, Macellum said the company was pushing to hire bankers to add additional directors with retail experience or examine sales.

Before investing in Starford and joining its group in 2019, Acacia was primarily a patent holder. It now focuses on acquiring and upgrading companies. In October, Line Matrix acquired printer maker Printronics Holding Corp for $ 33 million.

Comtech Telecommunications Corp.

Starford, led by CEO Jeff Smith, is one of the most visible aspiring investors. Is on the boards of companies including

Papa Johns International Inc.


NortonLifeLock Inc.

Write to Kara Lombardo at [email protected]

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