Activist Arkhouse launches proxy fight at Macy's, nominates nine directors

Customers visit Macy’s Herald Square store on December 17, 2023 in New York City. 

Kena Betancur | Corbis News | Getty Images

Investment firm Arkhouse Management has launched a proxy fight at Macy’s, nominating a slate of nine directors for election to the department store’s board.

Macy’s on Tuesday confirmed that it had received notice of the nominations from Arkhouse, which made an unsolicited $21-a-share bid for the company in December. Macy’s board rejected that $5.8 billion offer and questioned the status of Arkhouse’s financing.

Arkhouse managing partner Gavriel Kahane previously told CNBC that the firm’s financing was committed, citing a “highly confident” letter from Jefferies, but said Macy’s had not allowed due diligence to occur. Arkhouse had also intimated it would be willing to launch a proxy fight at the retailer.

In its statement Tuesday, Macy’s reiterated that it had made “a careful review” of Arkhouse’s take-private bid, but that Arkhouse had “yet to provide any financing details that would enhance the actionability” of its proposal.

Macy’s has not yet set a date for its 2024 annual shareholder meeting. Under new rules adopted in 2023, its shareholders will be able to pick and choose individual director nominees from both activist and management slates at the meeting.

A spokesperson for Arkhouse did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

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