Not so fast.
Hudson’s Bay Co. said it has not signed a binding agreement to sell or combine its European business, as many reports suggested, but it is instead working on something else.
“HBC believes it is prudent to advise stakeholders that it is in discussions with Signa Holding GmbH and has signed a non-binding letter of intent with respect to the exploration of a potential joint venture,” HBC said in a statement today. “Any potential transaction is subject to further review and analysis by HBC, approval of HBC’s board of directors, as well as many conditions, including due diligence and third party consents, that are outside of HBC’s control.”
The company, which is led by Richard Baker and known for its dealmaking in retail and real estate, said it regularly evaluates its strategic opportunities and that that process leads to discussions with potential counter-parties. HBC’s European operations are comprised mainly of the Kaufhof department store chain in Germany.
Signa is the owner of Germany’s other leading department store retailer, Karstadt, and has been pursuing a potential merger of the two operations since last year.
HBC said there can be no assurances that the talks will lead to a transaction.