Hudson’s Bay in Talks with Neiman Marcus

Hudson’s Bay is reportedly seeking a deal without assuming debt
March 16, 2017Allison Zisko

HBCDALLAS—Luxury department store retailer Neiman Marcus said it is considering strategic alternatives, including the possible sale of its business, and is in talks with Hudson’s Bay Company, according to reports.

“The company is undertaking a process to explore and evaluate potential strategic alternatives, which may include the sale of the company or other assets, or other initiatives to optimize its capital structure, as well as a number of other alternatives,” Neiman Marcus said in a statement that accompanied its second quarter earnings, in which it reported a net loss of $117.1 million. “The company will conduct this evaluation with the assistance of financial advisors. The company cannot provide assurance that the exploration of strategic alternatives will result in the completion of any transaction or other alternative, or regarding the possible terms or form of any such transaction or alternative.”

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, citing people familiar with the matter, that Neiman Marcus Group is in talks to sell itself to Hudson’s Bay Co., the Canadian owner of Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Gilt Groupe. “Hudson’s Bay is seeking a complex and unusual deal that would give it control of Neiman Marcus without assuming the company’s debt,” The Journal reported.

Sources told Reuters earlier this month that Neiman Marcus Group is in no immediate risk of bankruptcy. In early February there were published reports that Hudson’s Bay Company was in discussions with Macy’s Inc. regarding a takeover bid.

“As a matter of company policy, we do not comment on rumors or market speculation,” said Meghan Biango, senior manager, corporate communications at Hudson’s Bay Company in response to questions about both takeover speculation reports. “Generally speaking, as we have previously stated, we selectively evaluate opportunities to accelerate the company’s strategic growth while maintaining or enhancing its credit profile.”

Neiman Marcus did not respond to HFN’s request for comment at press time.

Allison ZiskoAllison Zisko | Managing Editor/Tabletop Editor

After 15 years of covering the tabletop industry, Allison Zisko is still as enthusiastic as ever about the dinnerware, glassware and flatware categories. An in-depth analysis of how the category works intrigues her just as much as the latest fashion trends. As managing editor, Allison oversees the daily e-newsletter and works behind the scenes to help produce the print issue each month. She also directs HFN’s housewares coverage and covers the cutlery category. An avid reader, Allison is eager to talk to anyone and everyone about the latest book they are reading.


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