(Reuters) – Activist investor Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC said on Tuesday a C$1.74 billion go-private offer for Hudson’s Bay Co from chairman and other shareholders would likely not receive majority approval of remaining shareholders.
The activist investor called the offer for the Canadian retailer “woefully inadequate” and asked the special committee of independent directors, tasked with evaluating the latest offer, to also explore other strategic options.
It also called on the committee to hire an investment bank to evaluate the value of Hudson’s Bay’s real estate and retail banners. Jonathan Litt, founder of Land and Buildings, said Chairman Richard Baker’s buyout consortium could buy out the minority shareholders for as much as C$18 per share, nearly twice the C$9.45 per share offer.
The Baker-led offer comes at a time when the struggling Canadian department store operator has been shuttering its underperforming shops to cut costs and stay competitive among discount brands and e-commerce behemoths such as Amazon.com Inc.
Shares of the company have risen nearly 61% to C$10.25 since the proposal.
Hudson’s Bay was not immediately available for comment.
Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli