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Hudson's Bay files for IPO

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The Hudson's Bay Co, the department store chain that traces its origins to the North American fur trade, said on Wednesday it plans to launch an initial public offering of its shares.

The offering comes as the venerable department store girds for increased competition from some big American retailers, including Target and Nordstrom.

The company was taken private in 2006 by Jerry Zucker, ending 336 years as a publicly traded company.

Hudson's Bay, which started as a series of trading posts in Canada in 1600s, has been owned by NRDC Equity Partners since 2008, which also owned the American retailing chain, Lord & Taylor.

Its stores include The Bay department stores and Home Outfitters, a kitchen, bed and bath superstore.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal said NRDC had hired banks to explore an IPO of the Canadian stores, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The company has filed a preliminary prospectus with regulatory authorities and the offering will be led by RBC Capital Markets, BMO Capital Markets, CIBC and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

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