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Fortunoff, L&T owner acquires Hudson’s Bay Company

Toronto – Just five months after acquiring Fortunoff, NRDC Equity Partners and True North Retail Investments, an affiliate of The InterTech Group, Inc. and the owner of Hudson’s Bay Company (Hbc), announced today the completion of a transaction in which NRDC Equity Partners acquired Hbc and consolidated its ownership of Lord & Taylor, Fortunoff, and Creative Design Studios (CDS) under a holding company called the Hudson’s Bay Trading Company (HBTC).

The purchase price was undisclosed. Combined, the companies generate more than $8 billion (U.S.) in retail sales. The entity will employ 75,000 people and operate 55 million square feet of stores in the United States and Canada.

Hudson’s Bay Company, established in 1670, is North America’s oldest continually operating company.

NRDC will invest $500 million in new equity into the combined company. NRDC president and ceo Richard Baker will serve as ceo of the Hudson’s Bay Trading Company and will become the 38th Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company. NRDC has been a minority owner in Hbc in partnership with the Zucker Family, and Baker has been a member of the board since 2006.

Baker said, “By acquiring Hudson’s Bay Company along with previous acquisitions Lord & Taylor and Fortunoff, we will have an unprecedented opportunity to recreate the retail landscape in North America. Enormous potential exists by upgrading the offerings at both The Bay and Zellers and by bringing Lord & Taylor, Fortunoff & CDS into the mix,” he added.

In addition, Lord & Taylor will be in a position to launch 10 to 15 stores throughout Canada, the company said. “Currently there is a gap in the Canadian retail landscape between The Bay department stores and Holt Renfrew. Lord & Taylor stores will be ideally positioned to fill this consumer demand and will be located in prime locations through existing Hbc real estate properties or within existing flagship Bay stores,” according to the company.

Fortunoff will introduce Fortunoff Jewelry Stores and Fortunoff Home Departments both within The Bay department stores as well as freestanding retail operations.

Zellers will see greater focus on branded apparel, improved customer service and a future roll out of new 125,000-square-foot prototype stores.

Creative Design Studios, the design and manufacturing division of NRDC, will expand its offerings and sell its branded collections throughout North America and internationally. CDS brands include Peter Som's eponymous collection as well as the Kate Hill and Context brands for women, and the Black Brown 1826 men's brand.

Home Outfitters and Fields will remain Canadian operations, the company said.

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