Is Hudson’s Bay on the Verge of Selling Another Major Part of Its Business?

Hudson's Bay Co.
Hudson's Bay Co.
Fairchild Archives.

It’s been a busy few weeks for Hudson’s Bay Co.

The Canada-based owner of Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Gilt and other luxury goods sellers today confirmed that it had received an unsolicited offer from Signa Holding GmbH — the owner of the company’s principal German competitor — to acquire its German business as well as other real estate assets.

HBC — which announced last week that it had sold all but a remaining 150,000 square feet of its iconic Lord & Taylor flagship store in New York — described Signa’s offer as “incomplete, nonbinding and with no evidence of financing.”

“Consistent with its fiduciary responsibility, the board intends to review the offer in due course, and cautions that the offer is subject to many assumptions, conditions and contingencies,” HBC said. “As we’ve previously stated, our European business is an important element of the company’s strategy.”

Although HBC has not said that it plans to sell Galeria Kaufhof — the German arm of its business — consistent with the sale of most of its Lord & Taylor property, the company of late has seemed focused on unloading some of its prime real estate amid sluggish retail sales and pressures from activist investor Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC.

On Monday, HBC and its joint-venture partner RioCan also announced that they have enlisted CBRE and Brookfield Financial Real Estate Group to explore a possible sale of its Vancouver Hudson’s Bay department store. Selling the property would help HBC close in on a $200 million mortgage that it holds on the space.

On the heels of the Signa offer today, HBC shares have been surging and, as of 3:30 p.m. ET, were up more than 10 percent at $12.43 CAD.