The CEO of Franchise Group seems to be getting cold feet over his $ 8 billion bid to purchase beleaguered retailer Kohl’s.
Brian Kahn, who has until Monday before the window closes on his exclusive talks with Kohl’s, has taken a much more cautious tone as he meets with the company’s shareholders, a source with direct knowledge of one of the meetings told The Post on Wednesday.
Franchise Group, owner of Vitamin Shoppe, and Kohl’s announced June 6 they had reached an agreement to negotiate what would be a deal at $ 60 a share.
However, Acesparks reported Wednesday afternoon that Franchise Group was considering lowering its bid to closer to $ 50. The news sent Kohl’s already deflated stock price plunging by 8.8 percent to close at $ 38.61.
A Franchise Group spokesman did not return calls. Kohl’s also did not return a call from The Post.
In private discussions with Kohl’s investors last week, Kahn told them he might extend talks with the retailer’s CEO Michelle Gass past the agreed upon three weeks, but that he would not try to renegotiate the $ 60-a-share price, according to the source.
Kahn has apparently changed his tune, telling Kohl’s investors in private meetings this week it was possible he might try to renegotiate but had not yet had that discussion with Kohl’s, the source said.
He made it clear that Kohl’s was giving him the financial information needed to make a decision and the delay was largely from his end, the source said.
Kohl’s turned down a $ 9 billion offer earlier this year but has seen its value nosedive after reporting stunning first-quarter losses.