HBC to sell Fifth Avenue flagship Lord & Taylor store

HBC to sell Fifth Avenue flagship Lord & Taylor store

HBC to sell Fifth Avenue flagship Lord & Taylor store

HBC said that the Lord & Taylor flagship store will continue to operate in the entire building through the 2018 holiday season. After that, the store will shrink to 150,000 square feet (the 12-story building is 676,000 square feet) with the rest of the space devoted to WeWork's NY headquarters.

HBC expects the transaction to result in an aggregate debt reduction of C$1.6 billion and an increase in total liquidity of about C$1.1 billion.

Hudson's Bay Company announced today that it will sell its Lord & Taylor flagship in NY to office sharing company WeWork and Rhône Capital for $850 million (1.1 billion Canadian). The property was appraised recently at about $3.7 billion, according to the New York Times.

"This is a transformative partnership that rethinks how retailers create exciting environments and leverage less productive space, while substantially improving the value proposition", said Richard Baker, HBC's executive chairman and interim CEO in a statement. The vacancy rate on Fifth Avenue, the heart of the city's high-end shopping district and home to the most expensive retail real estate in the world, reached a record previous year.

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Litt, founder of hedge fund Land & Buildings, has valued HBC's real estate at C$35 a share, and has called for HBC to sell some stores, convert them to alternate uses or go private.

The department store's flagship, known for its Christmas time displays on Fifth Avenue, has been sold to office company WeWork for $850 million.

The transaction comes as Hudson's Bay or HBC is under intense pressure from activist shareholder Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC to evaluate all strategic options to maximize value for shareholders, including monetization or repurposing of the company's real estate. The department store was the first to create Christmas windows for sheer entertainment, rather than for selling merchandise.

New York-based WeWork leases office space and rents it out to individuals and small companies, namely startups. "There is no reason why retail space should not be part of that movement".

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