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Kohl’s Pushes Back On Investor Group’s Takeover Efforts

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NEW YORK: Kohls is fighting back against an investor groups efforts to take control of the department store chain’s board, arguing that it would derail its progress and momentum.

The response, issued Monday, comes after the investor group said it had nominated nine members for Kohl’s board of directors as it looks to boost the company’s stock and its financial performance. The group owns a 9.5% stake in Kohl’s.

In a letter to shareholders made public on Monday, the investor group said Kohl’s hasn’t kept up with the fast-changing retail landscape and needs to cut its inventory, fix its store label assortment, cut expenses and improve its app and website among other things.

The investor group is made up of Macellum Advisors, Ancora Holdings, Legion Partners Asset Management and 4010 Capital.

Kohls faced challenges even before the pandemic forced the chain and its peers to close temporarily last spring. The retailer was wrestling with increasing competition from online players like Amazon and discounters like Target and Walmart, both of which have been sprucing up their assortments.

But the pandemic has accelerated shoppers shift online and increased the dominance of stores like Walmart, which offer one-stop shopping. The department store chain has said that expects to report that its most-recent quarter saw another steep drop in sales at stores opened at least a year, a key measure of a retailer’s health.

The investor group said it believes that Kohl’s problems are fixable, but will require a high-powered board with relevant expertise and experience that does not shy away from its oversight role and will hold management accountable.”

Its nominees include Margorie Bowen, who has served as a director at more than a dozen public and privately held companies. It also includes Jeffrey A. Kantor, president of JAK Consulting, a firm focused on retail and wholesale.

Kohl’s said its management team and board have been in discussion with the investor group since early December and it remains open to new ideas that will improve its performance. However, it said attempts to seize control of the board would disrupt” its momentum.

Kohl’s added that it was the first time the group shared any details of their plans, and it noted that the company’s plans already include several initiatives forwarded in the group’s proposal. Other ideas the group is pushing would not be accretive to shareholder value,” Kohl’s added.

The companys board and management will continue to engage with the investor group with the goal of identifying new ideas that could enhance shareholder value,” Kohl’s said in its statement.

Kohl’s, which is based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, is set to post its final fourth-quarter financial results on March 2.

Shares rose more than 6%, or $3.27, to close at $55.97 on Monday. The shares have risen more than 26% in the past 12 months.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

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Airline CEOs, Biden Officials Consider Green-Fuel Breaks

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Chief executives of the nation’s largest passenger and cargo airlines met with key Biden administration officials Friday to talk about reducing emissions from airplanes and push incentives for lower-carbon aviation fuels.

The White House said the meeting with climate adviser Gina McCarthy and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also touched on economic policy and curbing the spread of COVID-19 travel has been a vector for the virus. But industry officials said emissions dominated the discussion.

United Airlines said CEO Scott Kirby asked administration officials to support incentives for sustainable aviation fuel and technology to remove carbon from the atmosphere. In December, United said it invested an undisclosed amount in a carbon-capture company partly owned by Occidental Petroleum.

A United Nations aviation group has concluded that biofuels will remain a tiny source of aviation fuel for several years. Some environmentalists would prefer the Biden administration to impose tougher emissions standards on aircraft rather than create breaks for biofuels.

Biofuels are false solutions that dont decarbonize air travel, said Clare Lakewood, a climate-law official with the Center for Biological Diversity. Real action on aircraft emissions requires phasing out dirty, aging aircraft, maximizing operational efficiencies and funding the rapid development of electrification.

Airplanes account for a small portion of emissions that cause climate change about 2% to 3% but their share has been growing rapidly and is expected to roughly triple by mid-century with the global growth in travel.

The airline trade group says U.S. carriers have more than doubled the fuel efficiency of their fleets since 1978 and plan further reductions in carbon emissions. But the independent International Council on Clean Transportation says passenger traffic is growing nearly four times faster than fuel efficiency, leading to a 33% increase in emissions between 2013 and 2019.

The U.S. accounts for about 23% of aircraft carbon-dioxide emissions, followed by Europe at 19% and China at 13%, the transportation group’s researchers estimated.

The White House said McCarthy, Buttigieg and economic adviser Brian Deese were grateful and optimistic to hear the airline CEOs talk about current and future efforts to combat climate change.

Nicholas Calio, president of the trade group Airlines for America, said the exchange was positive.

Airlines are ready, willing and able partners, and we want to be part of the solution” to climate change, Calio said in a statement. We stand ready to work in partnership with the Biden administration.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor



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