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Hudson’s Bay joins forces with European heavyweight

Hudson’s Bay Co. is set to embark on a joint venture with Austrian retail giant Signa Retail Holdings, set to see both forces working to operate existing businesses across Europe.

The agreement was announced early Tuesday, with the Canadian party describing the union as a “strategic partnership for its European retail and real estate assets”. Signa already owns Kardstadt, a department store specializing in everything from fashion favourites to household appliances, while Hudson’s Bay already has an overseas presence, with its own department stores Galeria Kaufhof and Galeria INNO.

The new venture will combine these existing assets, as well as the European arm of Saks Off Fifth, Hudson’s Bay in the Netherlands, Kardstadt sports stores and both companies food and catering businesses.  The brands will have a particularly heavy presence in Germany and Belgium.

"This transaction builds on our recent efforts to streamline HBC and provides a clear path forward to improve our European operations," HBC chief executive Helena Foulkes said in a statement.

"The creation of a stronger operator in Europe allows us to focus our attention on our North American banners, helping to ensure we are making the right strategic decisions to drive performance and profitability within those businesses."
The deal is expected to be closed within the next 90 days, once European regulatory approval has been granted.