HBC has signed an agreement to merge its European division (which includes German ‘Kaufhof’ and Dutch ‘Hudson’s Bay’ department stores) with Signa Retail (owners of the German ‘Karstadt’ chains)…
The two organizations which have reportedly been negotiating terms of a potential merger since July, announced earlier this week that an agreement has been reached. The European Commission will review the proposed deal to ensure sufficient competition remains in the marketplace and that consumers will not be adversely impacted. The merger is expected to close within 90 days.
Earlier this month, it was reported that HBC had withdrawn from the merger discussions because of disagreement over the Hudson’s Bay stores in the Netherlands. Supposedly Signa did not want them to be included as part of the newly formed company. Eventually, Signa relented and negotiations started back up.
Under the terms of this mega deal, a new corporate entity will be formed, with HBC owning 49.9% of shares and Signa owning 51.1%. The new organization will be headed by Dr. Stephan Fanderl (current CEO of Karstadt/Signa).
HBC Europe properties include Galeria Kaufhof (Germany’s largest department store chain), Galeria INNO (Belgium’s only department store nameplate), Hudson’s Bay department stores here in the Netherlands and Saks OFF 5TH designer discount stores in Germany and Holland (Amsterdam and Rotterdam).
Signa Retail’s current properties include the German Karstadt Warenhaus department store chain and Karstadt Sports athletic specialty stores.
The merger announcement comes exactly one year after the first Hudson’s Bay stores opened their doors in the Netherlands.
A substantial number of layoffs and other cost-cutting measures are expected across divisions.
More information can be found here.