Hudson’s Bay Co. received a New Year’s Eve jolt, jumping 17.4 percent on a WWD report that executive chairman Richard Baker and a group of shareholders were close to sealing a deal to take the parent of Saks Fifth Avenue private.
The stock, which trades in Canadian dollars on the Toronto Stock Exchange, was up $1.42 to $9.59 in mid-morning trading.
WWD reported late Monday that Baker and his associates, who collectively own a majority of the retailer’s shares, were nearing a deal with Catalyst Capital Group that would pave the way for a buyout at a higher price than previously offered.
The group holds 57 percent of Hudson’s Bay’s stock and initially proposed using proceeds from the 1 billion euro sale of the company’s European operations to buy out the minority holders at $9.45 a share. That price was later upped to $10.30 a share, or $1.9 billion — a price that was ultimately accepted by a special committee of the Canadian retailer’s board.
The deal had to be approved by a majority of the minority holders and Catalyst pushed for a higher price from the majority holders and even tabled its own offer of $11 a share.
That competing offer wasn’t seen as winning approval from the majority shareholders, who wanted their own deal. But the back and forth seems to have been enough to push through a higher price for the company.