Richard Baker and James FallonWWD Apparel and Retail CEO Summit, New York, USA - 24 Oct 2017

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.

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