Hudson’s Bay Co. nixed an offer to sell Galeria Kauhof in Germany and reaffirmed its commitment to the business.
Late last year, Signa Holding submitted an nonbinding offer to buy Kauhof, Germany’s leading department store, as well as various real estate holdings. Signa operates the chain’s primary competitor, Karstadt.
But after running through the possibilities HBC said it declined and Signa withdrew its offer.
David Leith, lead independent director of HBC, said: “The board has unanimously concluded that Signa’s proposal is not in the best interest of HBC’s shareholders. It significantly undervalues our German business and related real estate assets and is not supported by sufficient certainty of financing to warrant further consideration at this time.”
Richard Baker, HBC’s governor and executive chairman, said the company’s European business and real estate “represent critical components of our long-term strategy and we continue to have a high degree of confidence in our ability to drive results across our iconic retail banners.”
“Our diverse European real estate holdings add significant value to our global real estate assets and we remain committed to creating opportunities to improve the productivity of our portfolio,” Baker said. “The company appreciates the interest in its European business and real estate assets, which validates the company’s view of the considerable underlying value these assets provide to HBC’s shareholders.”
HBC bought Kauhof for $2.7 billion in 2015 in a deal that greatly enhanced its international profile.
The company’s banners also include Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Gilt, Saks Off 5th and Galeria Inno in Belgium.
But Baker is actively looking to make change, for instance selling Lord & Taylor’s Fifth Avenue flagship in New York to WeWork Cos. for $850 million and connecting the merchant with walmart.com.
To keep the evolution going, Baker, who has served as interim chief executive officer since October, this week named Helena Foulkes, president of CVS Pharmacy, as ceo.