Macy’s sets date for face-off against activist investor board slate

NEW YORK – Macy’s Inc. shareholders will soon have their chance to weigh in on a proposed slate of nominees offered by an activist that wants to take the retail company private.

The board of directors of Macy’s Inc. announced yesterday that its annual stockholders meeting will take place May 17. Voting will be open to shareholders who held stock as of March 21.

In January, Macy’s rejected an unsolicited takeover bid from Arkhouse Management, a real estate-focused investing firm, and Brigade Capital Management, a global asset manager. The company express doubt about their ability to finance the plan and continues to assert that the proposal lacks compelling value.

Two weeks ago, Arkhouse mounted a proxy fight, putting forth its own slate of board members. Its 9 nominees include former senior retail executives as well as real estate investment firm principals.

“Our board is evaluating these candidates and will present its recommendation in our proxy statement,” Macy’s Inc. CEO Tony Spring told investors during the company’s Q4 call earlier this week.

He declined to comment further on the matter, referring listeners to a pair of public announcements Macy’s Inc. had previously issued.

In recent weeks, the retailer has moved to cut costs by zeroing out more than 2,000 positions, or 3.5% of its total workforce. Those jobs were eliminated in late January. It is also monetizing its assets with a plan to shutter 150 Macy’s stores over the coming three years. Macy’s Inc. expects to realize $600 million to $750 million from store closure strategy through 2026.

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