Rent-A-Center Inc (RCII.O) said on Tuesday it adopted a stockholder rights plan, or a so-called "poison pill", a month after activist investor Engaged Capital LLC stepped up efforts to push the furniture retailer to sell itself.
Engaged Capital, which owns a 12.9 percent stake in Rent-A-Center, last month nominated five candidates for election to the retailer's board of directors.
Plano, Texas-based Rent-A-Center said the stockholder rights would become exercisable if group buys 15 percent or more of its outstanding shares.
Rent-A-Center, which has struggled with declining sales for over a year, said last month it would seek to cut costs and boost revenue after Engaged Capital heaped pressure on the retailer to explore a sale.
However, the activist fund disapproved Rent-A-Center's "risky" turnaround strategy and urged the company's board to consider other options.
Rent-A-Center's shares were largely unchanged in early trading on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)