Foot Locker

Joele Frank handles Foot Locker’s “poison pill” plan announced Dec. 8 following disclosure that Vesa Equity Investment, the firm of Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, hiked its stake in sneaker retailer.

Vesa, which is Foot Locker’s biggest investor, upped ownership to 12.2 percent on Dec. 4 and has clearance under the Hart-Scott Rodino Act to purchase up to 50 percent of the New York-headquartered company.

The shareholder rights plan only goes into effect if a person/entity acquires a 20 percent stake in the company. It calls for the distribution of one right per share to stockholders other than the 20 percent investor. The plan expires in a year.

Foot Locker says the scheme reduces the likelihood of an unwanted takeover and 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.

The retailer claims the plan was not instituted 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.

Kretinsky, owner of Sparta Prague soccer team, also has an investment stake in Macy’s.

Foot Locker posted an 8.5 percent rise in third-quarter operating income to $178M. Sale jumped 9.0 percent to $2.1B.

Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher’s Leigh Parrish and Aura Reinhard represent Foot Locker.