Macy’s settles its proxy battle with activist Arkhouse

On Wednesday, Macy’s said that it had resolved its proxy battle with Arkhouse, the real estate investor, by adding two of the company’s nominees to its fifteen-member Board.

With immediate effect, Ric Clark and Risk Markee will join the Board of Macy. They will also be the members of the committee tasked with monitoring and assessing Arkhouse’s attempt to buy the department store outright and advising the Board on the plan.

Having worked in the real estate sector for almost 40 years, Clark was previously the CEO and Chairman of Brookfield Property Group, Brookfield Property Partners, and Brookfield Office Properties. Markee adds expertise in retail to the Macy’s Board. He presently serves on the Board of bargain retailer Five Below and was the CEO of Vitamin Shoppe in the past.

This reshuffle comes amid Arkhouse’s continued pursuit to privatise the 165-year-old department store, a proposition initially resisted by Macy’s. Negotiations between the parties are ongoing, with Macy’s providing confidential business information to the investor group.

Macy’s remains open-minded about strategies to enhance shareholder value, emphasising its commitment to actions beneficial to all shareholders. Arkhouse, along with Brigade Management, initially submitted a privatisation offer in 2023, subsequently increasing its bid multiple times and launching a proxy fight in February.

Facing heightened competition from retailers like TJX Companies and Target, Macy’s has been challenged to maintain market share. In response, it announced plans to close approximately 150 of its 500 stores and implemented workforce reductions in recent years.

While previous activist interest in Macy’s focused on potential acquisitions, Arkhouse’s approach diverges by aiming to privatise the company and leverage its real estate assets. This strategy contrasts with Macy’s focus on its retail operations, as outlined by CEO Tony Spring during discussions with Arkhouse.


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