HBC shares surge after Catalyst, Baker group reach sweetened takeover deal

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TORONTO — Shares in Hudson’s Bay Co. jumped nearly 10 per cent in early trading after a deal that appeared to put a months-long battle for the company to rest.

HBC shares climbed 96 cents, or 9.72 per cent, to $10.84 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

A group led by HBC executive chairman Richard Baker boosted its offer for the retailer to $11 late Friday night, winning the approval of rival shareholder group Catalyst Capital, which had said Baker’s earlier bid of $10.30 per share undervalued the company.

Catalyst had used various techniques to block the Baker group, including a counter offer of $11 per share and a successful trip to the Ontario Securities Commission, which directed HBC and the Baker group to provide more information before holding a shareholder vote.

That vote is now expected to be held in February. For the Baker group to succeed, it will need to obtain at least 75 per cent of the votes cast by all shareholders and at a simple majority of votes cast by minority shareholders, including Catalyst.

Catalyst said in a statement that it has the right to withdraw its support under certain circumstances, but indicated it was pleased with the higher price on the table.

Companies in this story: (TSX:HBC)

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