Catalyst launches hostile bid to acquire Hudson’s Bay Company

The war is declared between Catalyst Capital and the “Baker Group”, which has already agreed with the Hudson’s Bay Board to take control of the company.

Catalyst, which holds approximately 17.5% of HBC’s shares, offers $ 11 per share in cash. In doing so, the Toronto firm is trying to compete with another offer – that of a shareholder group led by HBC’s current president, Richard Baker – which offers $ 10.30 per share.

Gabriel de Alba, who acts as general manager and partner at Catalyst, argues that his company’s offer is independently funded; that it is superior to its competitor, both qualitatively and quantitatively; and that it can be completed quickly.

By presenting its offer on Wednesday morning, Catalyst also filed a complaint with the province’s regulator – the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) – with respect to the Baker Group’s proposal.

This privatization offer, which was accepted last month by the HBC Board of Directors , stems from a biased process in favor of an insider issuer, according to Catalyst, which asks the OSC to look into the matter and to take the necessary actions.

The Toronto firm’s proposal can be described as a “hostile takeover bid” to the extent that it has not been solicited; that it does not result from negotiations with the board of directors; and that it will be presented directly to shareholders for a vote by the month of February.

In any case, her announcement pushed HBC’s stock up by almost 15% when the Toronto Stock Exchange opened on Wednesday.

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