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Une firme de New York pourrait acquérir La Baie d'Hudson


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Le propriétaire de Lord & Taylor

Une firme de New York pourrait acquérir La Baie d'Hudson

http://argent.canoe.com/lca/infos/canada/archives/2008/07/20080710-075109.html

ARGENT

 

Le propriétaire de Lord & Taylor a entamé des discussions en vue d'acquérir la Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson, une transaction qui, selon certaines sources, pourrait permettre à la chaîne de magasins à rayons américaine de s'implanter au Canada.

 

La firme NRDC Equity Partners of Purchase, de New York, qui possède la chaîne de 47 magasins aux États-Unis, détient déjà une participation de 20% dans HBC, à qui appartient les magasins La Baie, Zellers, Home Outfitters.

 

Le chef de la direction de NRDC, Richard Baker, a mentionné lors d'une conférence récente qu'il envisageait d'ouvrir des magasins à l'extérieur des États-Unis et que le Canada figurait parmi les pays considérés.

 

«Cet acheteur potentiel m'a semblé très déterminé à aller de l'avant», a dit une source informée de discussions récentes avec HBC. Ni M. Baker ni les dirigeants de HBC n'ont voulu commenter l'information mercredi. La destinée de HBC repose entre les mains de la famille de Jerry Zucker, un milliardaire américain qui a acheté le détaillant canadien pour 1,1 milliard de dollars en 2006, mais qui est décédé en avril. Sa veuve, Anita Zucker, a par la suite pris les commandes de l'entreprise.

 

Depuis, la famille a dit vouloir continuer d'exploiter la compagnie, fondée en 1670, ce qui n'a pas empêché plusieurs observateurs de l'industrie de croire qu'elle pourrait changer d'idée.

 

Si elle se concrétise, l'acquisition de HBC par le propriétaire de Lord & Taylor consacrerait le mariage de deux des plus anciens acteurs dans le domaine des chaînes de magasins généralistes. Dans la dernière décennie, cette industrie a été durement touché par la concurrence féroce des magasins spécialisés et des chaînes à bas prix comme Wal-Mart.

 

De leur côté, tant HBC que Lord & Taylor déploient tous deux beaucoup d'efforts depuis environ deux ans afin de rajeunir leur image.

 

Mercredi, des sources citées par le site web Women's Wear Daily affirmaient que la firme NRDC était déterminée à acquérir HBC.

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