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Kohl’s activist investor Macellum pushes to oust board of directors

Yahoo Finance Live's Brian Sozzi reports new details from the activist campaign against Kohl's.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: Well, there's yet another salvo in the activist campaign against Kohl's. The activist investor Macellum is now upping the pressure on the department store, urging shareholders in a letter to oust the current board of directors and replace them with Macellum's picks. You've been covering this closely, Mr. Sozzi. What can you tell us about this latest back and forth?

BRIAN SOZZI: This is such a debacle for Kohl's, Julie. It just continues. I've just never seen a situation like this. But again, Macellum keeping the heat on Kohl's here this morning, re-upping that's-- really essentially wants to overthrow the company's entire board at its May 11th annual shareholder meeting. And one of those people that would potentially-- could potentially end up on Kohl's board, Jonathan Duskin is the CEO of Macellum Capital Management. It is him and his team that has been putting pressure on Kohl's for over a year here. And he's keeping the heat on the company.

And why is this heat being placed? Because, Julie, it looks that-- it looks like Kohl's has finally received a new round of bids for its company. They put out a statement yesterday that they are reviewing bids to take its company private. Now "The New York Post" had a pretty good story, saying that Hudson Bay owner, which also owns Saks, is the lead bidder here in this-- I still don't think it's going to be Hudson's Bay to buy this company. That company has long struggled. Its balance sheet is absolutely tattered.

I would think a more likely buyer is a company like a Leonard Green. It already owns a lot of other retail brands. It's a noted retail private equity shop that invests in retail companies. But still, this situation is ongoing development. And ultimately, it probably behooves Kohl's to get some form of deal done before that annual meeting because if they don't, they could be really embarrassed at that meeting.

JULIE HYMAN: I mean, look at this chart, Sozz. I mean--


JULIE HYMAN: --it's like-- OK, you gave the bicep chart recently. This is the bucking bronco chart. Like, what a ride.


JULIE HYMAN: I mean, look at that thing. You definitely-- it is impressive-- if I can continue the analogy, it's impressive that Macellum has not gotten thrown off that horse because it has not been-- sorry. It has not been--

BRIAN SOZZI: Smoking me today?

JULIE HYMAN: --an easy ride, right?

BRIAN SOZZI: Wow. No, well, they have a good point. Now, Jonathan Duskin has told me before that if Kohl's were to spin out its e-commerce operations, its retail operations, this is probably $100 stock or even more. I'm sure Kohl's knows that, but still, and this has been a company that has just failed on so many fronts the past five years under existing leadership. Something has to get done. This is a company probably better off in private hands at this point.