Macy’s could soon be heading to Fifth Avenue, or rather, to the parent company of stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Gilt, Hudson’s Bay is reportedly looking to take over the struggling department store.
The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reports that Hudson’s Bay approached Macy’s Friday about a possible takeover, or partnership agreement.
The deal, which is in preliminary discussions, could involve a sale of all Macy’s assets or just a deal for the company’s real estate.
The company, which recently closed 68 stores, has a wealth of land and ground leases that it has pondered selling. In fact, the WSJ reported in November that Macy’s sold its downtown Portland, OR, store for $56 million.
Reuters reports that Macy’s investors have pushed the company to sell its real estate, or at the very least, separate its retail business from its real estate.
Despite this, Macy’s has a reported $7.5 billion debt. Yet, sources say, Hudson’s Bay sees the retailer as a healthy company with good cash flow.
Hudson’s Bay could use Macy’s real estate portfolio, worth an estimated $14 billion, to raise equity and debt in order to fund the deal, the sources tell WSJ.
Hudson’s Bay is no stranger to taking over large retail operations: In Jan. 2016, the company snatched up flash-sales company Gilt Group for $250 million.