Women's Wear Daily

Advisory Firm Favors HBC Privatization Bid

Richard Baker’s bid to take the Hudson’s Bay Co. private got another lift Wednesday when Glass Lewis, a leading investor advisory firm,  recommended that HBC shareholders vote for the transaction. The Egon Jones ratings firm on Tuesday also gave a thumbs-up encouraging shareholders to vote in favor of the transaction. Last week, Institutional Shareholder Services, another influential advisory firm, gave a thumbs-down on the bid, characterizing it as unfair. HBC’s executive chairman Richard Baker, leading a group of like-minded major shareholders representing a combined 57 percent of the shares, has offered 10.30 Canadian dollars per share to buy the remaining 43 percent of the business. A shareholders meeting to count the shareholders’ votes is scheduled for Tuesday. Some minority shareholders, including the Catalyst Capital Group private equity investment firm, which has proposed $11 a share for the entire company, oppose the plan. It’s unlikely that Catalyst’s offer is accepted by shareholders since Baker and his group, with its majority stake, have no interest in selling the company. The Baker group, considered the continuing shareholders, only wants to buy the minority shares to take the company private, or let HBC continue as a public company. Aside from the continuing shareholders and Catalyst bids, there are no

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