Franchise Group Enters Exclusive Talks over Kohl’s Sale

Kohl’s Corporation has entered exclusive negotiations with retail store operator Franchise Group, Inc. over a potential sale of the department store chain, valuing it at nearly $8 billion, the companies said late on Monday. The bid of $60 per share constitutes a premium to Kohl’s closing price of $42.12 on Monday, giving it a market value of about $5.4 billion.

Franchise Group, owner and operator of retail stores such as The Vitamin Shoppe and Buddy’s Home Furnishings, said the companies have entered into a three-week-long exclusive discussion.

“The purpose of the exclusive period is to allow FRG and its financing partners to finalize due diligence and financing arrangements and for the parties to complete the negotiation of binding documentation,” Kohl’s said.

Kohl’s said the deal is subject to board approval and provided no assurance that an agreement would be finalized.

The Wisconsin-based department store chain was under pressure after activist investors Macellum Advisors GP LLC and Engine Capital LP called on Kohl’s earlier this year to sell itself.