Hudson’s Bay Co. and activist Land and Buildings have buried the hatchet.
Land and Buildings agreed to withdraw its appeal of the Toronto Stock Exchange’s decision to conditionally approve a $500 million cash infusion from private equity firm Rhône Capital. The investment came as part of the retailer’s deal to sell its New York Lord & Taylor flagship to WeWork Cos.
Land and Buildings was looking for what it called “the dilutive share issuance” to be put to shareholder vote.
Under the deal with Land and Buildings, Hudson’s Bay agreed that if it did issue equity under the deal that it would, under certain circumstances, do so via a rights offering to all shareholders.
Richard Baker, Hudson’s Bay’s governor, executive chairman and interim chief executive officer, said the Rhône equity investment would close next week and that work would turn to the retailer’s “multifaceted strategic relationship with WeWork.”
Baker said the transactions illustrate the company’s “ability to successfully monetize our valuable real estate assets, while creating opportunities to improve productivity and utilization in our portfolio. As part of our ongoing board review, we will continue to review HBC’s real estate portfolio with a view to maximizing shareholder value and the ongoing operations and business of HBC. We look forward to ongoing engagement with, and constructive input from, Land and Buildings and our other shareholders as we pursue additional opportunities.”
Jonathan Litt, founder and chief investment officer of Land and Buildings said: “We invested in HBC because its world class real estate assets are substantially more valuable than the company’s current share price. We appreciate our interaction with the HBC team and are pleased and encouraged that HBC’s management and board continues to take steps to monetize its highly valuable real estate assets, and we look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the company to ensure that shareholder value is maximized.”
Hudson’s Bay said in October it would sell its Fifth Avenue Lord & Taylor flagship to WeWorks for $850 million and continue to operate the 650,000-square-foot door through the 2018 holiday season. Afterward, the retail portion of the building will be downsized to 150,000 square feet and the rest of the site will operate as WeWork’s New York headquarters.