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Oct 16, 2017

Hudson's Bay shares tumble as Nordstrom privatization plan shelved

McCreath: Nordstrom betting on Christmas

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Shares in Hudson's Bay Co (HBC.TO), which is reviewing strategic options including privatization, fell as much as 5.2 per cent on Monday, with some analysts attributing the drop to rival Nordstrom Inc's (JWN.N) failed attempt to go private.

Earlier on Monday, U.S. upscale retailer Nordstrom said its founding family had suspended attempts to take private for the rest of the year due to difficulties in arranging debt financing ahead of the holiday season.

Hudson's Bay was down 3.6 per cent to $11.75 in midday trading, while the broader Toronto stock benchmark rose 0.2 per cent. It fell to the day's low of $11.66, it's lowest in nearly six weeks.

"My...impression is that the stock is reacting to Nordstrom news..." said a Toronto-based retail analyst who declined to be named as the analyst was not authorized to speak about the matter publicly.

A Hudson's Bay spokesman did not offer an immediate comment.

Shares of Nordstrom, the owner of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, slumped as much as 6.5 percent to their lowest since June, compared with the benchmark S&P 500 stock index, which rose 0.25 percent.

Hudson's Bay's largest shareholder and executive chairman, Richard Baker, is looking for a new strategy after unsuccessful attempts this year to merge Hudson's Bay with U.S. department store operators Macy's Inc and Neiman Marcus, Reuters reported in August.

The review will consider all available options, from the possibility of the company going private to potential sales of retail assets and real estate.

U.S. activist investor Jonathan Litt has called for Hudson's Bay to consider going private and to monetize its vast real estate holdings.