The Hudson’s Bay Co. is expected to announce today that it’s estimated $3 billion bid for Germany’s Kaufhof department store chain has been accepted by Kaufhof’s parent company Metro AG.
WWD first reported that HBC was bidding for Kaufhof on April 27.
The acquisition gives Hudson’s Bay Co., operator of the Hudson’s Bay, Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor department stores, its first major presence outside North America, though HBC does have licensed Saks Fifth Avenue stores in the Asia and the Middle East as well as in Mexico.
Kaufhof is the stronger of the two major department stores in Germany, the other being Karstadt.
HBC, led by Richard Baker, was in a bidding contest for Kaufhof with Signa Retail, which owns Karstadt and is controlled by real estate developer Rene Benko. In the past few weeks, retail experts have expressed surprise that HBC would pursue Kaufhof given its full plate of projects in North America including trying to make Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue more profitable, bringing Saks and Saks Off-5th outlets to Canada, and renovating the Saks flagship in Manhattan. However, it is believed that HBC won the bidding for Kaufhof partly because of its financing ability.