Hudson's Bay to sell Lord & Taylor Fifth Ave building, shares jump

HBC sells Lord & Taylor flagship to WeWork for 850mn dollars

After that, it will be converted into WeWork's NY headquarters along with WeWork office space and a redesigned Lord & Taylor store of approximately 150,000 square feet (14,000 square meters), according to the companies. (Baker is serving as interim chief executive while the company searches for a new CEO in the wake of Jerry Storch's planned departure.) "Immediately upon closing, these transactions are expected to significantly strengthen HBC's balance sheet, enhance our liquidity, and advance our core strategies by monetizing the Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue building and increasing the productivity of key locations, which taken together, is expected to enable us to drive ongoing value creation".

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Hudson's Bay Company is selling its Lord & Taylor property on New York's tony Fifth Avenue to WeWork for US$850 million as part of a flurry of deals.

The deal will help HBC reduce its debt by more than $1 billion by capitalizing on the value of its real estate, something that the company's activist shareholder Land & Buildings has been pushing.

The deal will see WeWork, which packages shared office space for short-term users, gain access to upper-floor office space in the Hudson's Bay's historic Granville Street store in downtown Vancouver, which could be a bit of a relief valve for the firm's recently opened venture in the city.

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The Lord & Taylor location will continue to operate in the whole building through holiday 2018.

In particular, Litt had his eye on the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship in NY.

Baker maintained that the alliance puts HBC "at the forefront of dynamic trends reshaping the way current and future generations live, work and shop: the sharing economy and urban and suburban mixed-use real estate planning". It could also add 20 WeWork locations in HBC businesses around the world, Baker said. Jonathan Litt, CEO of Land & Buildings Investment Management, which owns about 4.3% of the company's stock, has been agitating for company to sell its flagships or redevelop them into higher performing businesses like office space or hotels.

They said WeWork's members will be able to participate in exclusive HBC sales online and in store, and HBC customers to have access to WeWork's We Membership platform.

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