Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) shareholders have chosen to reelect its current 13 board of directors, despite the pressure it has faced from activists for a restructuring, according to the company. Following its 2022 annual meeting, the preliminary vote marks the end of a proxy war with activist investor, Macellum Capital Management, which owns 5% of the retailer’s stock.
“We would like to thank our shareholders for their support throughout this proxy contest,” Peter Boneparth, chairman of the board said in a news release. “While we have had differences with Macellum, this board is committed to serving the interests of all our shareholders. The board remains focused on running a robust and intentional review of strategic alternatives while executing our strategy to drive shareholder value. We appreciate the feedback we have received from our shareholders over the past several months and look forward to engaging with them further.”
According to Macellum, Kohl’s Chief Executive Officer Michelle Gass’ efforts, like the partnership with Sephora and Amazon, have simply not been enough. The investor nominated 10 directors, including its CEO, Jonathan Duskin, back in February.
Now the question is “whether to accept one of the bids to buy the company,” wrote Morningstar analyst David Swartz in a brief Wednesday, responding to the vote. “Our view is Kohl’s must seriously consider any legitimate bids above our $59 fair value estimate. We lack confidence that (the company’s current turnaround plan) will improve its pricing power, store traffic, or operating efficiency,” said Swartz.