HBC says Catalyst declined a request to extend its offer for stake in retailer

Hudson's Bay Co. holds its annual meeting of shareholders in Toronto on June 3, 2016. The special committee of the board at Hudson's Bay Co. asked Catalyst Capital Group Inc. to extend the deadline for its offer a roughly 10.7 per cent stake in the retailer, but says it was turned down. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

TORONTO - The special committee of the board at Hudson's Bay Co. says Catalyst Capital Group Inc. has turned down a request to extend a deadline for its offer for a roughly 10.7 per cent stake in the retailer.

The bid by the investment firm, which is seeking to buy the shares in an effort to oppose a proposal to privatize the company, is set to expire on Friday.

It is offering to buy up to nearly 19.8 million shares at a price of $10.11 per share.

Catalyst said its offer gives HBC shareholders an opportunity to receive cash within three business days at a premium to the current share price and the proposal by an insider group led by board chairman Richard Baker.

"For those HBC shareholders that wish to reduce their exposure to the volatility of the sector and the issues and uncertainty related to the Baker Group proposal, our offer presents an opportunity to realize immediate value and liquidity," stated Gabriel de Alba, managing director and partner of Catalyst.

Catalyst said it is committed to working with HBC's special committee and board to seek out "every alternative that can maximize value for all shareholders, whether through a sale process, dividend distributions of the cash to be realized from the sale of the company's key European assets or otherwise."

Catalyst's offer expires before the expected September completion of the formal valuation of the Baker-led group June bid of $9.45 per share to take HBC private, an offer the special committee has deemed inadequate in an initial analysis.

"In view of this, the special committee requested that Catalyst extend the expiry date of its offer to allow time for the special committee and its financial advisers to complete the valuation analysis and an evaluation of available strategic alternatives; however, Catalyst has declined to do so," it said in a news release.

The special committee has asked the Baker-led group if it intends to make a revised proposal once it has received a formal valuation.

Meanwhile, the special committee urged shareholders to exercise caution with respect to the Catalyst offer. It noted the offer does not provide shareholders with certain protections typically required under a formal takeover bid.

HBC shares closed up one cent to $9.40 in Thursday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Companies in this story: (TSX:HBC)

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