Kohl’s on Friday called off deal talks with Franchise Group, blaming market volatility that is making harder to line up financing to close large deals. This news comes as no surprise. Here’s why.
One PE-backed CEO recently told me that the macro environment will only make it more difficult to get loans for large deals. For lower mid-market and add-on deals, on the other hand, it might be easier.
In the case of Kohl’s, it is no longer a seller’s market. Buyers are using market conditions in their favor by offering lower prices. Franchise Group originally offered Kohl’s $60 a share in early June, but then lowered its bid to $53 per share.
“Despite a concerted effort on both sides, the current financing and retail environment created significant obstacles to reaching an acceptable and fully executable agreement,” Peter Boneparth, the chair of Kohl’s board said in a statement. “Given the environment and market volatility, the board determined that it simply was not prudent to continue pursuing a deal.”
Kohl’s has some work to do to improve its business that probably would’ve been more ideal to do under private ownership. The company said it plans to open about 100 smaller stores over the next four years, and will work on growing its digital business, as most retailers need to do nowadays.
The news is disappointing for Kohl’s shareholders, but expect similar story lines in the future given this environment.