Canadian Hudson’s Bay Company wants to leave Europe and the stock exchange. The Dutch stores are an exception and remain part of the company - for now.
Looking for options
HBC is selling its minority stake in the German merger company Galeria Kaufhof Karstadt to its Austrian partner Signa Holding. Its owner, billionaire René Benko, pays a billion euros to the Canadian company, that needs money to settle part of its debts and will fall back to only focusing on the North American market.
Last year, HBC's Kaufhof and Signa's Karstadt merged to form Germany's biggest department store group. The group also owns the Belgian Galeria Inno chain and fifteen stores in the Netherlands. A bad sign for the Dutch Hudson’s Bay stores is that they are not part of the deal; even more so: HBC acquires Signa Holding's stake in them and sets it free from any obligation in the Netherlands. A financial advisor will now have to look for a solution for the very poorly performing stores.
HBC also announced it is looking into possibilities of leaving the stock exchange as well: this way the retail group would be able to build towards a new future in a quieter way.