PE-Backed Hudson’s Bay Company Goes Public — Again

(Reuters) – Canadian department store operator Hudson’s Bay Co. (HBC.TO) said on Monday it had completed its C$365.1 million ($367.8 million) initial public offering.

HBC, which owns Lord & Taylor in the United States and Hudson’s Bay in Canada, began trading last Tuesday, Nov. 20, on the Toronto Stock Exchange on a “when-issued” basis. Shares began trading on a regular basis at the open on Monday.

In light trading on Monday morning, the stock was at C$16.85, flat with Friday’s close and 0.9 percent below the C$17 mark at which the offering priced.

The offering of 21.48 million shares was priced at the bottom of the company’s already lowered range of C$17 to C$18 per share. That pegs HBC’s market capitalization at about C$2 billion.

Founded in 1670, Hudson’s Bay began as a fur trading business, granted control of a significant part of what is now Canada by King Charles II. It is North America’s oldest continually operating company.

The company went private in 2006, as shoppers fled to U.S.-based heavyweights like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT.N) and specialty retailers.

NRDC Equity Partners bought out HBC’s other investors in 2008, and integrated it with Lord & Taylor, which has 48 stores across the United States.

Both chains face stiff competition. In the United States, Lord & Taylor competes with retailers like a resurgent Macy’s Inc (M.N), while in Canada, Target Corp (TGT.N) is rolling out its first stores in the spring.

(Reporting by Allison Martell and Euan Rocha; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

Image credit: Photo of family shopping courtesy of ShutterStock

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