TORONTO: Saks Fifth Avenue owner Hudson’s Bay Co has fallen short of securing enough shareholder support for a C$1.9 billion($1.4 billion) deal to take the department store operator private, people familiar with the matter said.
A buyout consortium of Hudson’s Bay investors led by its Executive Chairman Richard Baker did not win enough votes from other company shareholders by a Friday morning deadline in advance of a December 17 special meeting, the sources said.
The sources cautioned that shareholders are allowed to change their mind up to the time that the special meeting of shareholders is held, however.
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) regulator on Friday said Hudson’s Bay has agreed to postpone the December 17 meeting. It was not immediately clear when this would now be held.
The OSC also dealt Baker another setback by ordering Hudson’s Bay to revise the disclosures it made to its shareholders on November 14 on how the deal with Baker was put together.
Baker has argued that Hudson’s Bay would be better positioned as a privately held company to face the brick-and-mortar retail sector’s challenges, shielded from the demands and concerns of stock market investors amid the rising popularity of online shopping.
While Baker’s offer would pay Hudson’s Bay shareholders a 62 per cent premium to the value of their stock prior to his bid being announced, it values the company at just a third of its 2015 worth.
That has triggered opposition from some Hudson’s Bay investors, including Canadian private equity firm Catalyst Capital Group Inc and hedge fund Ortelius Advisors LP. — Reuters