Jun 18, 2019
HBC shareholders ‘quite upset’ about privatization bid, activist says
HBC privatization bid 'woefully inadequate': Activist shareholder
Activist investor Land & Buildings Investment Management is speaking out against a proposal to privatize Hudson’s Bay Co. (HBC.TO) and is urging Canada’s oldest retailer to consider other options.
“I think if there was a proper strategic review undertaken, that the price that this company would fetch would be materially higher than the $9.45 (per share) that the management buyout group is offering,” Land & Buildings Founder and Chief Investment Officer Jonathan Litt told BNN Bloomberg in an interview Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, Litt decried the privatization bid from a group led by HBC Chairman Richard Baker as “woefully inadequate.” In an open letter, he urged the special committee at HBC to consider other strategic alternatives for the company “given the iconic nature of HBC’s real estate that would attract a deep potential buyer pool.”
“I’m not sure what the other shareholders plan to do – we’ve gotten a lot calls as we’ve been involved and people are quite upset,” Litt told BNN Bloomberg when asked whether other shareholders share his view. “It seems many shareholders are quite upset at being taken out at such a discounted valuation.”
“I think that the management team and the board at Hudson’s Bay have been unwilling to monetize the real estate to the benefit of all shareholders – and that has frustrated shareholders.”