HBC faces renewed criticism from activist investor Land and Buildings


TORONTO — Hudson’s Bay Co. activist investor Land and Buildings Investment Management LLC is attacking the Toronto-based retailer’s board again for failing to take decisive action to unlock value for shareholders.

In a letter sent to shareholders, Land and Buildings says it believes HBC could double or triple its share price and find benefits by selling Saks Fifth Avenue to a luxury department store company, its remaining 50 per cent interest in its European business to Signa Holding GmbH, and Lord and Taylor to a mass merchant.

It also believes HBC should pursue real estate investment trust status for its Canadian real estate and sublease excess space at its Bay department stores.

Land and Buildings says it plans to soon discuss with investors the possibility of adding “fresh perspectives” to HBC’s board and could do so through a special meeting of shareholders.

The investor previously agreed last December to cease opposing an investment in the retailer by private equity firm Rhone Capital, but has since kept arguing that HBC is really a real estate company and that it should take its Toronto Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue location at Yonge and Queen streets and build condos above them.

HBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Companies in this story: (TSX:HBC)

The Canadian Press