Vesa Equity Investment has acquired a 5% stake in Macy’s, with its purpose, according to a filing with the United States Security and Exchange Commission, “to engage in constructive discussions with the issuer’s management and/or board of directors, other stockholders of the issuer and other interested parties that may relate to the business, management, operations (including cost structure), assets, capitalization, financial condition, strategic plans, governance and board composition and the future of the issuer.”
Vesa is controlled by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky. The firm has pursued and made other retail investments. For example, French retailer Casino, Guichard-Perrachon announced in January that Vesa strengthened its 4.6% position in the company, crossing the threshold of 5% of the share capital to reach 5.64%.
According to the SEC filing, Vesa now holds almost 16 million shares of Macy’s stock.
Macy’s, citing marketplace disruption resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, pushed back release of its first quarter financial results, which now will occur on July 1. Since early February, when the first inklings of a coronavirus outbreak in the United States began to weigh on the market, Macy’s share price has declined from a little over $17 to a range around $5.
In a May 12 research note, Morgan Stanley analyst Kimberly Greenberger stated that Macy’s faces liquidity in 2020 issues as its $1.5 billion revolver “may not be sufficient to support expected cash needs.”