Why Should the Family That Milked Nordstrom Be Allowed to Take It Private?

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The Nordstrom family wants to take Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) private for $50 a share, a very modest amount compared to where the company’s shares trade. This is after the family members who run the company have taken huge bonuses for years and dragged the retailer’s prospects down. An independent committee of the board of directors rejected the offer.

Blake, Erik and Peter Nordstrom sit on the company’s board. As a group, in the past three years registered in the company’s proxy, they have made $37 million as company officers.

Before the run-up to their recent offer, the stock was down 30% over a two-year period. The S&P 500 was up 36% in that time. Over five years, Nordstrom’s stock is down 25% before their first offer, and the S&P 500 was up 75%.

As a group, the Nordstrom family controls about 25% of the retailer’s stock. They have benefited from a dividend plan that should have been abandoned a long time ago as almost all retailers tried to bolster their balance sheets.

Nordstrom’s bottom line also has been hit hard recently. In 2013, it had net income of $735 million. That dropped to $354 million in 2017. While executives who are members of the family made tens of millions of dollars, investors watched the bottom line’s attrition.

What should the family pay for the company? Certainly it’s the high of $80 that the stock reached in March 2015, just three years ago. Investors who put money in the company recently would at least get their money back.

The Nordstrom family wants to take the retailer private on the cheap. Hopefully, the special committee¬†of the company’s board will continue to resist it.