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Hudson’s Bay Company entertains the idea of an IPO

(Image: JamesZ_Flickr)

Rumours are swirling about an initial public offering for Canadian icon Hudson’s Bay Company. Women’s Wear Daily is reporting that HBC’s owners want to capitalize off The Bay’s recent rehabilitation—the department store has seen a marked improvement in finances since 2010 (it was reportedly running negative or break-even comp-store sales for 20 years prior to that), a Topshop expansion and reports of other retail partnerships in the works. Moreover, as Canada’s retail sector braces for Target’s impending arrival, the fact that HBC has operations both north (The Bay, Home Outfitters) and south (Lord and Taylor) of the border could be a draw to investors. In 2011, the company was exploring the possibility of listing publicly, but the idea was reportedly squashed due to market volatility. This time, Richard Baker, HBC’s governor and CEO, is remaining cagey. He told WWD, “There is nothing on the radar at the moment, but it could come at any time.” [h/t Toronto Star]

Would you buy shares of Hudson’s Bay Company?

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  • M

    Rumors about this have been swirling since they went private. And NRDC Equity Partners owns The Bay and Lord & Taylor. You wrote that The Bay owns the American department store. No way.

  • C

    Lord & Taylor is a division of HBC, which in turn is a division of NRDC Equity. The Bay purchased its sister company last year, even though they were owned by the same parent company.

  • Randall Wison

    With flat same store sales for twenty years, the Bay would have to have a recent history of sustained growth for any sane person to invest.
    Perhaps Mr. Baker has improved the merchandise, but for a long time it was a Class “C” department store with mediocre to downscale brands.
    Department stores are an out-moded form of retailing, founded in the nineteenth century, especially when you consider that Amazon is toying with same day delivery.