Business

Shareholders recommended to vote against Hudson's Bay Co. takeover

An influential proxy advisory service is recommending shareholders vote against a takeover offer for Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) by a group led by the retailer's executive chairman.

Proxy advisory raised concerns over disclosures surrounding $10.30 per share offer

Institutional Shareholder Services is recommending shareholders vote against a takeover offer for Hudson's Bay Co. by a group led by the retailer's executive chairman Richard Baker. (Michael Wilson/CBC)

An influential proxy advisory service is recommending shareholders vote against a takeover offer for Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) by a group led by the retailer's executive chairman.

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) raised concerns about the disclosures surrounding the $10.30 per share offer by a group led by HBC executive chairman Richard Baker.

A rival offer of $11 per share made by Catalyst Capital Group has been rejected by HBC's special committee because it says the Baker-led group, which holds a 57 per cent stake in the retailer, is not interested in selling its shares.

ISS raised questions about the thoroughness of the sale process and if the agreed transaction maximizes value for minority HBC shareholders.

However, the special committee at HBC says the ISS report is flawed and urged shareholders to support the offer by the Baker-led group. It pointed to an acknowledgement by ISS that there is meaningful downside risk if shareholders don't approve the deal.

Catalyst has asked a regulator to block the privatization bid or, at least, require HBC to amend its information circular. The Ontario Securities Commission is scheduled to hear that matter on Wednesday

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