Strategy

Macy’s ends proxy fight, adds two new directors

Arkhouse first initiated the proxy battle after Macy’s rejected a $5.8 billion takeover bid.
article cover

Vzphotos/Getty Images

· less than 3 min read

News built for finance pros

CFO Brew helps finance pros navigate their roles with insights into risk management, compliance, and strategy through our newsletter, virtual events, and digital guides.

There’s probably some great Star Wars quote about the serene tranquility that follows the end of a battle, but we can't think of it off the tops of our heads.

So, here goes nothing: Department store Macy’s has ended its proxy fight with activist investor Arkhouse Management, adding two new directors to its 15-person board in the process. (Less catchy than “May the Force be with you,” we know, we know.)

As part of the settlement, two Arkhouse nominees—Ric Clark, a former Brookfield executive, and Rick Markee, who also serves on the Five Below board—joined Macy’s board of directors on April 10. Meanwhile, Tony Spring, Macy’s CEO and chairman-elect, took on the board chairman role, in a previously announced change.

Arkhouse first initiated the proxy battle in February after Macy’s rejected a $5.8 billion takeover bid from Arkhouse and Brigade Capital Management in January.

In a statement this week, Macy’s said its board “is continuing to engage with Arkhouse and Brigade regarding their proposal to acquire the Company,” adding that “the company has since begun to provide Arkhouse and Brigade with certain confidential due diligence information, and that process remains ongoing.”

“The ending of the proxy fight is good news for Macy’s as it removes uncertainty over the chain being taken over and allows management to firmly focus on its reinvention plan,” Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, told CFO Brew via email. “It is also a good outcome for the Macy’s brand as it means the chain will continue to be run as a retailer rather than as a financial plaything.”

This isn’t Macy’s first brush with activist investors. Starboard Value, an activist hedge fund that tried to pressure Macy’s into reducing its store footprint, eventually sold its stake in Macy’s in 2017.

Macy’s proxy battle paralleled that of another iconic American brand, Disney, which fended off activist investors earlier this month.

Interested in connecting with the industry's leading CFOs about how to future proof for tomorrow? Come to our May 2 IRL event in NYC. Click here for tickets.

News built for finance pros

CFO Brew helps finance pros navigate their roles with insights into risk management, compliance, and strategy through our newsletter, virtual events, and digital guides.