April 1, 2023

DealBook: Lord & Taylor Owner Hudson’s Bay Explores I.P.O.

Richard Baker, who acquired Lord  Taylor and Hudson's Bay, in the Lord  Taylor store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.Robert Caplin for The New York TimesRichard Baker, who acquired Lord Taylor and Hudson’s Bay, in the Lord Taylor store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Two of the oldest department store chains in North America are on the verge of a public stock listing.

Plans for an initial public offering are in the works for the Hudson’s Bay Company, the parent of The Bay stores in Canada and Lord Taylor in the United States, according to two people briefed on the talks. A listing, which is expected to be on the Toronto Stock Exchange, could come before the end of November, these people said.

A successful I.P.O. would be a windfall for Richard Baker, the New York real estate developer-turned-retailer. In 2006, just before the markets seized up, Mr. Baker acquired Lord Taylor for $1.2 billion. He later acquired Hudson’s Bay and merged the two into a single company.

Skeptics derided Mr. Baker’s purchases as top-of-the-market deals of two once-storied, now-tired chains. But Mr. Baker, by all accounts, has made improvements in both brands. Lord Taylor, which has about 50 stores, has increased sales by remodeling its stores and offering more fashion-forward merchandise.

As much as 20 percent of the company could be sold to the public at a valuation of between $2.5 billion to $3.5 billion, according to these people.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Baker declined to comment. The New York Post earlier reported on Hudson’s plans.

A Hudson’s Bay deal comes at a time of uncertainty in the I.P.O. market. New stock issuance has cooled since the disappointing performance of Facebook after it went public.

A share listing in Canada, however, has certain advantages for Hudson’s. Because Canadian law requires that its pension funds and mutual funds own a certain percentage of Canadian stocks, Hudson’s could have a more natural set of buyers. (The Canadian stock market also has a paucity of publicly traded retailers and an outsize number of natural resource companies.)

Hudson’s is one of a number of retail chains that went private during the leverage buyout boom that are weighing I.P.O.’s. Retailers including Neiman Marcus, Michaels Stores, Toys “R” Us, and Burlington Coat Factory are owned by some of the nation’s largest private equity firms, which are all looking for the right opportunity to take these companies public.

Article source: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/09/05/lord-taylor-owner-hudsons-bay-explores-i-p-o/?partner=rss&emc=rss

Sharpton Appears to Win Anchor Spot on MSNBC

Mr. Sharpton’s imminent hiring, which was acknowledged by three people at the channel on condition of anonymity because the contract had not been signed, is significant in part because MSNBC and other news channels have been criticized for a paucity of minority hosts in prominent time slots. Mr. Sharpton, who is black and is a well-known civil rights activist and radio host, has been guest hosting in the 6 p.m. time slot for the last three weeks. 

There had been uncertainty about the 6 p.m. slot ever since the channel’s marquee anchor, Keith Olbermann, departed in January, prompting Ed Schultz to be moved to 10 p.m. from 6. Suddenly Mr. Uygur, who had been made a paid contributor to MSNBC months earlier, was handed 6 p.m., a big coup given that he had earlier campaigned to have his progressive Web show “The Young Turks” picked up by MSNBC. 

He earned solid but not stand-out ratings; in late June the channel’s president, Phil Griffin, decided to try out Mr. Sharpton, and offered Mr. Uygur a new contract that included a weekend show, but not a higher-profile weekday show. 

Mr. Uygur, who by most accounts was well liked within MSNBC, said in an interview that he turned down the new contract because he felt Mr. Griffin had been the recipient of political pressure. In April, he said, Mr. Griffin “called me into his office and said that he’d been talking to people in Washington, and that they did not like my tone.” He said he guessed Mr. Griffin was referring to White House officials, though he had no evidence for the assertion. He also said that Mr. Griffin said the channel was part of the “establishment,” and “that you need to act like it.” 

MSNBC is home to many hosts who criticize President Obama and other Democrats from a progressive point of view, but at times Mr. Uygur could be especially harsh.

In an interview on Wednesday, Mr. Griffin denied Mr. Uygur’s accusations and sounded disappointed that he had decided not to accept the weekend position. “We never told Cenk what to say or what not to say,” Mr. Griffin said. 

The “people in Washington,” he said, were MSNBC producers who were responsible for booking guests for the 6 p.m. hour, and some of them had said that Mr. Uygur’s aggressive body language and overall demeanor were making it harder to book guests. “The conversation was, ‘Hey, look, here’s how we can make it better’ — about physical things on the show,” Mr. Griffin said.

Mr. Uygur’s audience on “The Young Turks” Webcast, which is separate from MSNBC, is younger than the audience on cable television, Mr. Griffin added, suggesting that the two demographics require different manners of speaking. Mr. Uygur stood by his account, saying in an e-mail, “That conversation on that day was not about body language.”

Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, said in an e-mail Wednesday that his staff did not raise any concerns about the show “with Phil Griffin or anyone else.”

“I didn’t agree with everything said on the show, but certainly didn’t have any problem with it,” Mr. Pfeiffer added.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=6f7172c92b925b5c4932965085d17834