FINANCE

Hudson’s Bay in talks for possible joint venture

BY Marianne Wilson

The parent company of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor confirmed on Friday that it is in talks regarding a potential joint venture for its European business.

In a statement, Hudson’s Bay Co. said that it is in discussions with Austria-based Signa Holding GMBH, and has signed a non-binding letter of intent with respect to the exploration of a potential joint venture. Hudson’s Bay and Signa separately operate Germany’s two major department store chains, Kaufhof and Karstadt. Kaufhof operates 96 stores in Germany, while Karstadt has 82.

The retailer noted that contrary to recent reports it has not signed a binding agreement to sell or combine its European business or properties. The announcement follows a report by The Wall Street Journal that the department store company had agreed to sell half of its European operations to Signa in a deal estimated at more than $1 billion in cash.

Hudson’s Bay said that any potential transaction is subject to further review and analysis by HBC, approval of HBC’s board and many other conditions.

“There can be no assurance that any such discussions will ultimately lead to a transaction,” the retailer said.

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