Foot Locker announced that its board of directors has adopted a “short-term shareholder rights plan” designed to reduce the likelihood that anybody will gain control of the company without appropriately compensating its shareholders. It will distribute one right to each outstanding share as a dividend if any person acquires 20 percent of Foot Locker’s equity within the next 12 months. The rights will trade on the stock exchange like any ordinary share. Foot Locker said its board acted in response to a recent significant accumulation of shares by its largest shareholder, Vesa Equity Investment, which disclosed on Dec. 4 that it had basically doubled its stake in the U.S.-based sports retailer to 12.2 percent, after receiving regulatory clearance to buy up to 50 percent of its capital. It started buying into Foot Locker in October 2019. Vesa is the Czech-based investment vehicle of a Czech-born billionaire, Daniel Kretinsky, and his partner Patrik Tkac. Its main interests are in energy, but it has also bought significant stakes in European retailers such as Casino in France (5.6%), Metro in Germany (30%) and an Eastern European e-tailer, the Mall Group (40%). Earlier this year, it built up a stake in Macy’s, the struggling American department store chain. Foot locker stressed that its 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.”