Group of activist investors increases bid for Macy’s

The activist investment group seeking to buy Macy’s increased pressure on the department store chain this Sunday, raising its offer and revealing additional details about its financing plans.

Arkhouse Management and Brigade Capital Management said in a news release that they were now offering $24 per share, valuing the retailer at $6.6 billion. The new offer is up from the $21 per share they last offered and a 33.3 percent premium to Macy’s closing stock price of $18.01 on Friday.

Arkhouse and Brigade named additional investors they had hired as equity partners, Fortress Investment Group and One Investment Management. Arkhouse and Brigade also said, in an apparent response to Macy’s questions about their financing, that they had “identified large sources of global institutional financing” that “represent 100 percent of the capital required to purchase the Macy’s shares that we do not already own.” “.

The retailer has faced pressure from the investment group since December, when the group submitted an offer that would take Macy’s public at a value of $5.8 billion. Arkhouse said that unless the retailer began sharing non-public information, he could take his offer to shareholders. The investor has since nominated nine people to Macy’s board of directors.

Macy’s said Sunday it would “carefully review and evaluate” the latest proposal.

“The board of directors of Macy’s Inc. has a proven track record of evaluating a broad range of options to create value for shareholders, is open-minded about the best path to achieve this goal, and is committed to continuing to take the actions it believes that are the best. interests of the company and all shareholders of Macy’s Inc.,” the company said in a statement.

The retailer has been trying to focus on its own strategy to turn around the business.

Last week, Macy’s announced a strategy that would vastly change the makeup of the company. It said it would close 150 of its namesake stores over the course of three years, while opening more locations of Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury, its luxury chains.

“I hope we can close the company before they start closing these stores,” Gavriel Kahane, Arkhouse’s managing partner, said in an interview.

Matt Perkal, partner and head of special situations at Brigade, said “the proposal presents the best path forward for Macy’s shareholders by allowing them to benefit from the company’s significant unrealized value.”

As a department store, Macy’s has struggled to win over customers who increasingly shop in an e-commerce world as indoor malls close. Macy’s has seen declining sales over the past few quarters.

Its new CEO, Tony Spring, who spent his four-decade career at Bloomingdale’s, acknowledged that the shopping experience at Macy’s is not pleasant. Shoppers often encounter disorganized stores, poorly displayed clothing, and have difficulty finding staff. The retailer said it planned to have 350 locations remaining by the end of 2026 and that capital raised from its closures would flow to the remaining stores.

Kahane said that if the company were to go private, investors would focus on turning around the department store business, a feat he said would be easier if the retailer were a private company. He also rejected speculation from analysts that he wanted the retailer only for its real estate.

“So we’re clearly here for real estate law,” Kahane said. “We’re here because we believe they have a lot of real estate on their balance sheet, and that real estate is valuable because they have a great tenant..”

He downplayed speculation by some retail analysts that investors were simply waiting for another buyer to beat them to the punch.

“I’ll feel a lot worse if someone comes in and beats us here,” Kahane said. “I’d also be a lot more surprised.”