A major Saks Inc. shareholder sold off millions of shares in the past few days at about $15 a share, capitalizing on a price that’s increased since the luxury chain went up for sale.
Sources believe Southeastern Asset Management Inc. was the seller of a major chunk of Saks stock. The investment advisory firm did not return a request for comment Tuesday, but a block of 3.7 million shares of Saks was sold at about $15.20 late Monday.
While the price could be an indication of what Southeastern believes Saks could ultimately be sold for, there might also be mandates triggering the stock sell-off at a certain price.
“Southeastern might have had a price target,” said one financial source.
Prior to the sell-off, Southeastern was Saks’ third-largest shareholder, with 11.4 percent, or 17.4 million shares — a position that had already been trimmed from more than 29.5 million shares in February. RELATED STORY: S&P Puts Saks on Credit Watch >>
Hudson’s Bay Co. is still considered a leading candidate to buy the retailer. HBC could achieve synergies by consolidating certain Saks operations into its other retail holdings, which include Hudson’s Bay in Canada and Lord & Taylor in the U.S.
A small private equity fund is also said to be interested in Saks. While its identity could not be learned, Sycamore Partners could be a possibility. It’s a small private equity firm that has taken stakes in various retail companies including The Talbots Inc. Representatives for Sycamore declined comment.
Qatar Holding, an investment company linked to the royal family of the Gulf state, could be looking at Saks as well to bolster its growing luxury portfolio. Qatar Holding has been buying up Tiffany & Co. stock, and bought Printemps in Paris earlier this year and Harrods in London in 2010.
Financial sources believe that Saks’ stock price is not trading on the fundamentals of the business and has increased since May when Goldman Sachs was hired to try to sell the company. At that time, Saks was trading at about $12. Based on the most recent trading, “The market is indicating that Saks could be sold at $16.50 a share or maybe $17,” said one source. The source also said Saks has indicated to prospective buyers that it won’t entertain any bids under $15. Saks officials would not comment on the speculation. Saks’ stock closed at $15.36, up 2.8 percent, on Tuesday.
Currently Saks’ biggest shareholder is believed to be Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú, with a 15.3 stake, or 23.1 million shares. Diego Della Valle, chairman of the luxury Italian shoe and leather goods firm Tod’s, owned 14.2 percent, or 22.7 million shares, at last count.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews