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What Could Hudson's Bay see in Macy's — Business Report

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Macy's

The Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed source, reported that talks between the companies are at an early stage, adding that a deal for Macy's real estate could be a possibility. Before its stock spiked on news of the deal, Macy's market capitalization was almost $10 billion, while Hudson's Bay was about $1.7 billion, CNBC said.

"We do not comment on rumour or speculation, " Tiffany Bourre, an HBC spokeswoman, said in an email.

Shares of Macy's rose as much as 12 percent Friday, its biggest intraday gain since August 11, according to Bloomberg.

Hudson's Bay would face some challenges in absorbing Macy's.

A year after the Canadian company bought Saks Fifth Avenue in 2013, its flagship store on Fifth Avenue was appraised for $3.7 billion - more than the $2.9 billion Hudson's Bay spent to acquire the entire chain. It has 485 stores worldwide, while Macy's has more than 800.

Given Bakers history though, this deal could be as much about going after undervalued real estate as expanding in a struggling brick and mortar retail business.

According to the New York Post, Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren is "receptive" to a friendly buyout offer as he prepares to step down from his position this spring. Starboard estimated those assets to be worth $21 billion.

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No one can agree on what Hudson's Bay Co.'s extensive collection of department stores is worth, and that sets up an intriguing opportunity for investors who thrive on uncertainty.

Macy's recent financial performance has been weak. But chances of a deal were dim, the note said.

Last month, Macy's announced plans to cut more than 10,000 jobs and close stores, including one at the Everett Mall.

Shares of Hudson's Bay rose to C$10.39.

The Canadian retailer was acquired in 2008 by NRDC Equity Partners, headed by Richard Baker.

But complicating a takeover, Macy's is saddled with about $7.5 billion in debt.

Activist investor Starboard Value held around 1 percent of Macy's stock as of September 30 a year ago, making it the company's 15th largest shareholder.

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