finance

Macy’s investors mount $5.8 billion buyout bid

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By Abigail Summerville

(Reuters) -An investor group consisting of Arkhouse Management and Brigade Capital has made a $5.8 billion offer to take department store chain Macy’s private, after stiff competition from online rivals took a big bite out of its value, according to a person familiar with the matter on Sunday.

Arkhouse Management, a real-estate focused investing firm, and Brigade Capital Management, a global asset manager, submitted a proposal to acquire the Macy’s stock they don’t already own for $21 a share on Dec. 1, the person said. The Wall Street Journal reported the offer earlier Sunday afternoon.

The offer for the Bloomingdale parent is a 20.76% premium from its closing at $17.39 on Friday.

The group already has a big stake in Macy’s through Arkhouse-managed funds and has discussed the proposal with the department store chain, whose board subsequently met to discuss the offer. It isn’t clear how the retailer views the proposal, the person familiar with the matter said.

Arkhouse and Brigade believe Macy’s is undervalued in the public markets and have indicated that it would be willing to raise its offer subject to due diligence, the WSJ report said, adding that an investment bank has provided a letter supporting the group’s ability to raise the necessary financing to get through the deal.

Macy’s, Arkhouse and Brigade did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the report.

The retailer crushed analysts’ estimates for quarterly profit on lower inventories and strong demand for beauty products in November, signaling that attempts to trim inventory from 2022 highs were finally working ahead of the all-important holiday shopping season.

Macy’s has a market capitalization of about $4.77 billion and its shares are down nearly 15.79% this year.

(Reporting by Abigail Summerville in New York; Additional reporting by Juby Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Diane Craft and Lisa Shumaker)

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