By and  on January 7, 1994

NEW YORK -- Amid reports that Fidelity Investments continued to pitch its stake in R.H. Macy & Co. to retailers, there was widespread industry speculation Thursday doubting that Dillard Department Stores will make a play for the chain.

In addition, several members of Macy's board will meet today for an "informational" session.

One source close to the situation noted that some of the big guns on the board, such as Laurence Tisch, chairman of CBS, and Gary Wendt, chairman of General Electric Capital Corp., won't attend, although Federated Department Store's interest in Macy's will be addressed.

While Fidelity met with Dillard's Thursday, sources do not expect the Little Rock, Ark.-based organization to launch a counter-bid

for Macy's, either alone or with Fidelity.

"I think it's smoke," said one source. "They might want to pick up a few stores, but it's unlikely that Dillard's is interested in the Northeast."

Added another source, "Dillard's approached Macy's six months ago. If they were going to make a bid, they wouldn't need Fidelity."

Frustrated by the slow pace of Macy's Chapter 11 case, Fidelity is actively attempting to sell its $500 million secured claim - the largest single claim against Macy's - trade sources said.

If Dillard's isn't interested, the Fidelity stake could go to Federated, which has already acquired $500 million of Prudential Insurance Co.'s $1 billion secured claim.

Dillard's, along with May Department Stores, has reportedly expressed interest in purchasing Macy branches around the country if Macy's is broken up in the course of its reorganization.

But Macy's appears undaunted by the takeover rumors, and Myron E. Ullman, its chairman and chief executive officer, was said to have told creditors Thursday that he still intends to present a reorganization plan this spring.

His position may be buoyed by recent figures. According to sources, Macy's had a 1.7 percent comparable-store sales gain for December, adjusted for the discontinuation of its electronics business, according to a creditor source. Macy's, however, said the figure was inaccurate, but declined to give any other numbers. The company, which will report December's results later this month, is also expected to state cash flow is improved.

To Read the Full Article

Tap into our Global Network

Of Industry Leaders and Designers

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus