Foot Locker Plans Rights Issue To Block Kretinsky

Daniel Kretinsky

Foot Locker announced that it is adopting a poison pill, which comes amid a mass accumulation of the stock by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky.

Foot Locker announced that its Board of Directors has adopted a short-term shareholder rights plan and declared a dividend distribution of one right on each outstanding share of the company’s common stock. The offering could be used as a barrier to activist investor Daniel Kretinsky taking control of the sneaker retailer.

Foot Locker said it would issue one right for each outstanding share, allowing for the purchase of one Foot Locker share, but said they would only be exercisable if an investor were to acquire a 20 percent stake in the company. Vesa Equity Investment, Foot Locker said, has built a 12.2 percent stake in the company. Vesa is an investment vehicle controlled by Czech Republic-born billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, who had also built a stake in Macy’s earlier this year.

“The Board believes that the Rights Plan provides the Board with sufficient time to make informed judgments that are in the best interests of shareholders, while it continues to oversee the execution of the company’s strategic plan to drive long-term growth, profitability, and shareholder value,” Foot Locker said in a statement. “The Rights Plan has not been adopted in response to any specific proposal and is not intended to prevent or deter any action or offer that the Board determines to be in the best interests of shareholders.”