Struggling Hudson’s Bay Co. Going Private

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Hudson’s Bay Co., parent of Saks Fifth Avenue, is being taken private in a share buyback plan, paying a 65% premium over the original offer in June, according to various media reports, in a deal that regulators and shareholders need to formally approve later this year.

Hudson’s Bay’s chairman David Leigh said the company accepted the deal after conducting a “thorough evaluation” of the offer and other alternatives, according to CNN. Leigh added the board was “confident that this transaction represents the best path forward.”

According to CNN, Hudson’s Bay has been streamlining operations over the past year in an effort to boost its prospects. The move to go private is seen as a way to pursue an upward path without the pressure and scrutiny of public markets and investors.

Overall, physical retail continues to be in a state of upheaval. Retailers closed about 7,000 stores in the first half of 2019 alone, according to a report from professional services firm BDO USA. However, the closures are being replaced by plenty of new growth as shopper expectations and the retail experience continue to evolve.

In a surprise move this past August, Hudson’s Bay sold iconic luxury retailer Lord & Taylor to fashion subscription rental company Le Tote for $75 million. Le Tote is expected to acquire all 38 Lord & Taylor store locations, its digital channels, inventory, data and technology.

In September, Hudson’s Bay announced plans to shutter 15 stores across the Netherlands. It has about 100 department stores in Canada.

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