Friday, 24 November, 2017

Hudson's Bay selling Lord & Taylor 5th Ave building for US$850m

A full view of the complete royal crematorium at Sanam Laung following the removal of scaffolding. A final dress rehearsal will take place today for the funeral processions of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej's cremation ceremony HBC to sell Fifth Avenue flagship Lord & Taylor store
Heather Davidson | 25 October, 2017, 01:04

Hudson's Bay said on October 24 it agreed to sell the flagship building of its Lord & Taylor department-store chain for $850 million to WeWork, a provider of shared office space.

In a novelistic detail that handily illustrates the big shifts happening American business, Lord & Taylor's corporate parent is selling the department store's landmark Fifth Avenue flagship-to WeWork.

HBC also said it has entered into agreements with WeWork to lease retail space within select HBC department stores, including the Queen Street location in Toronto, Granville Street in Vancouver and Galeria Kaufhof in Frankfurt, Germany.

Lord & Taylor will rent space in the building and maintain a smaller store on the lower floors of the building, while the upper floors will be rented out from WeWork as temporary office space for companies who need occasional or intermittent meeting spaces, the NYT reported.

"This is a transformative partnership that rethinks how retailers create exciting environments and leverage less productive space, while substantially improving the value proposition", HBC executive chairman Richard Baker said in a release. The company now anticipates minimal impact on the earnings from these locations.

In total, the transaction will reduce HBC's debt by $1.3 billion (1.6 billion Canadian).

Real estate activist investor Jonathan Litt has asked Hudson's Bay to consider going private and sell its vast real estate holdings and had previously threatened to launch a proxy fight if management did not act.

The deal is expected to result in debt reduction of $1.26 billion and liquidity of about $870 million in USA dollars. The deal will see the space transformed after the 2018 holiday season to become WeWork's NY headquarters. "Our partnership with the WeWork team creates new opportunities for HBC to redefine the traditional department store by extending those communities and drive additional traffic to our stores, particularly as we add co-working and community space to existing, vibrant retail locations".

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