Macy's Investor Starboard is 'Impatient for Change

Macy’s Inc. activist holder Starboard Value LP invested in the retailer “too early” and may grow impatient for bolder changes at the company.

BY BLOOMBERGOCTOBER 27, 2016 21:05

NEW YORK, United States — Macy’s Inc. activist holder Starboard Value LP invested in the retailer “too early” and may grow impatient for bolder changes at the company, where it still sees value to be unlocked, chief executive officer Jeff Smith said Thursday.

Macy’s is still largely “exploring the things we want them to do,” including looking at options for its real estate, Smith said in a Bloomberg TV interview.

“We are not big fans of wait and see,” Smith said. “There is value there. How and when it gets unlocked is still open.”

Starboard disclosed its activist stake in the department-store chain in July 2015, saying the stock would be worth $125 if it better capitalised on its real estate by separating properties from operations. Macy’s shares have tumbled 47 percent since that conference presentation, trading at about $35.

A representative for Macy’s did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Starboard — one of the most prolific US activists — typically targets small- and mid-cap public companies it considers undervalued. It then pushes executives and directors for changes, such as unit spinoffs and asset sales.

By Erik Schatzker and Beth Jinks; editors: Elizabeth Fournier and Nick Turner.

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