Canadian retailer Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) has completed its privatization transaction, marking a significant milestone for the company. As part of the transaction, CEO Helena Foulkes will be stepping down and Richard Baker, the governor and executive chairman of HBC, will assume the role of CEO on March 13.
Baker, who played a key role in initiating the privatization, will be supported by the senior leadership team, including Hudson’s Bay brand president Ian Nairn and Saks Off 5th president Paige Thomas. Foulkes, who joined HBC in 2018, made significant contributions during her tenure by streamlining the company. She successfully sold the Lord & Taylor brand and divested European real estate assets.
Baker expressed his appreciation for Foulkes’ leadership and accomplishments, pointing out the company’s improved structure, strengthened retail operations, and customer-centric approach. With the completion of the privatization deal, Baker aims to implement turnaround measures without the pressure of shareholders.
The privatization deal offered minority shareholders C$11.00 per share and raised funds primarily through the sale of HBC’s real estate and retail holdings in Germany. The group behind the deal includes Rhône Capital LLC, WeWork Property Advisors, Hanover Investments (Luxembourg) S.A., and Abrams Capital Management LP.
HBC, which reported a net loss of C$175 million in Q3 2019, currently owns the renowned Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off 5th, and Hudson’s Bay brands. The company also acquired the rights to the Barneys name. HBC’s common shares are expected to be delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange on March 4, 2020.
Overall, the completion of HBC’s privatization transaction and the appointment of Richard Baker as CEO marks a new chapter for the company. With a renewed focus and a simplified structure, HBC aims to navigate the challenges of the retail industry and drive growth in the coming years.