The family behind Nordstrom Inc. JWN, +8.67% is seeking to strengthen its grip on the department-store chain following a decline in its shares that has stoked tension on the board.
Members of the founding Nordstrom family are in the early stages of discussing a proposal to boost their roughly one-third stake to over 50%, according to people familiar with the matter. It isn’t clear how the family would increase its stake—one possibility is through a share buyback at a premium, one of the people said—and there is no guarantee it will follow through.
Should they, the family may encounter resistance: Some independent directors are wary of allowing the family to take advantage of the stock drop to increase its ownership when they blame its management for the decline, one of the people said.
The board has been seeking to bring in an outsider to replace the two great-grandsons of the founder, who have been serving as co-presidents, some of the people said.
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- ^ An expanded version of this story appears on WSJ.com (www.wsj.com)