The bidding war for Hudson’s Bay Co. is heating up.
Catalyst Capital Group Inc. announced that it has offered CA$11 ($8.29) per share in cash for all common shares of the Canadian retailer, topping the CA$10.30 ($7.86) per share cash bid from a consortium of investors led by HBC chairman Richard Baker.
The proposition by the private equity firm, which owns about 17.5% of HBC, values the company at CA$2.03 billion ($1.53 billion).
Baker, along with shareholders that include Rhône Capital LLC and WeWork Property Advisors, said on Monday that its all-cash bid totaling CA$1.9 billion ($1.43 billion), for the remaining shares it doesn’t already own was its “best and final offer.” The buyer group collectively holds 57% of the company’s common shares.
Catalyst added on Wednesday that it had filed a complaint with the Ontario Securities Commission over the Baker group’s “conduct,” which it accused of being “contrary to the public interest” and included “potential securities law violations.”
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The retail business company’s bid to go private was first met with opposition from Catalyst early this month, when the private equity firm — along with other minority shareholders — issued a statement indicating its intention to vote against Baker’s proposal. The investors altogether represent roughly 28.24% of the company’s total common shares.
Baker’s offer was 9% higher than the initial bid of CA$9.45 ($7.22) per share made on June 10, when HBC formed a special committee to review its take-private bid. At the time, it also announced that it would pull out of its European operations, allowing the retailer to “fully focus our resources on HBC’s North American operations, including our best growth opportunities — Saks Fifth Avenue and Hudson’s Bay.”
FN has reached out to HBC for comment.
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