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Kohl’s says advisor Goldman has spoken to 20 potential buyers

(Bloomberg) — Kohl’s Corp.’s financial advisor Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has worked with more than 20 potential buyers, including various financial sponsors, fellow retailers and real-estate-focused investors, the company said in a regulatory filing Monday.

Some of those parties have entered into confidentiality agreements with the company and have been granted access to data rooms and management presentations, and have been invited to submit proposals to acquire the company, Kohl said.

Negotiations with interested parties took place from January to March, the Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based company said in the filing.

“We have tied up with around 20 parties – we have had some unsolicited bids and we have also done some outreach to make sure that we do our part as a board to evaluate these options against a very strong plan. Working,” Kohl’s Chief Executive Officer Michelle Gass said in an interview Monday on Bloomberg TV.

Kohl’s said last month it had rejected offers to take over the company because they undervalued it and implicated bankers to take additional interest in the company.

Sycamore Partners and a suitor backed by hedge fund Starboard Value LP were both in talks with Kohl’s about a possible deal, Bloomberg News reports. While it is unclear how much Sycamore was willing to pay for Kohl’s, Acacia Research Corp., a Starboard-backed suitor, offered $64 per share, or about $9 billion.

Shares of Kohl’s rose 2.4% to $52.37 in after-sales trading on Monday, recovering some ground after falling 13% during the regular session.

During a virtual investor day on Monday, Kohl’s executives laid out their long-term plan for increasing sales. It said it sees its partnership with Sephora become a $2 billion business, plans to open about 100 small format stores across the U.S., and said it will continue to trade in the mid-to-high single digits and low-singles. The stock is targeting growth’s long-term earnings. -Digit percentage sales growth.

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