Hudson's Bay reportedly approaches Macy's about a takeover

04 February, 2017, 00:53 | Author: Sam Montgomery

The largest USA department store retailer has been approached by Canada's Hudson's Bay, the owner of Saks and Lord & Taylor, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The early-stage discussion between retail giants comes amid January reports that discouraging sales numbers prompted Macy's decision to close around 100 stores.

When The New York Post reached Macy's for comment, a spokesperson said, "we do not comment on rumors and speculation".

For Hudson's Bay, which runs more than 480 stores around the world, buying Macy's would be a splashy way of expanding in the U.S. New York-based Macy's owns more than 850 stores in 45 states that operate under the Macy's and Bloomingdale's.

Department store sales suffered in the latest holiday season as shoppers increased the number of items they bought online.

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Shares of Hudson's Bay were up more than 2 per cent at C$10.44. Up in Toronto, Hudson's Bay is up 4%. Outgoing CEO Terry Lundgren had allegedly been working to prevent significant disruptions in the company's board while fielding several acquisition offers.

Cowen and Company said in an analyst note that Macy's has attractive qualities for a buyer, including a low a price to earnings valuation of 10 times, $2.8 billion of free cash flow and a large real estate portfolio.

The Canadian retailer was acquired in 2008 by NRDC Equity Partners, headed by Richard Baker. Already, Macy's has seen major carnage in its stock.

The retailer has been under pressure from activist investors displeased with its stock performance to sell of its stores into a real estate investment trust or look at ways of wringing out money from its physical assets. Macy's shares were briefly halted and resumed minutes later up 7 percent.

Macy's said in March previous year it had tapped William Lenehan, a real estate investment trust expert and a close associate of Starboard, to its board.

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