Hudson’s Bay Company Sold

We wish the greatest and oldest corporation in North America well. Founded in 1670, Hudson’s Bay company was once the government in Canada.

The importance of the company to Canada would be as if the Virginia Company that founded the Virginia Colony had survived as a department store! Imagine that.

Today, the Hudson’s Bay Company agreed to be acquired by NRDC Capital, which by all accounts is doing wonderful things for Lord & Taylor. See our BrandlandUSA post from last October.

Some information from the press release. It’s quite complicated.

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). Combined, these companies comprise more than US$8 billion in retail sales, 75,000 employees, and 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 Equity Partners is investing US$500 million in new equity into the combined company. 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.

We like the fact that Richard Baker will “become the 38th Governor” of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

There is an old urban myth that Hudson’s Bay must pay quit-rents to the British monarch when a monarch visits a city with a Hudson’s Bay store. We urge NRDC to give Queen Elizabeth or any member of the royal family beaver pelts when they visit former Dominion of Canada.

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