Hudson’s Bay Company is preparing a bond offering to shore up its finances, the latest retailer to do so after the novel coronavirus pandemic forced widespread store closures, according to people familiar with the matter. Hudson’s Bay is hoping to raise roughly US$800 million to US$900 million through the bond deal, depending on the appetite from investors, one of the sources said it was unclear whether the Canadian department store operator planned to offer investors collateral such as real estate.The sources requested anonymity because the matter is confidential. A Hudson’s Bay spokeswoman declined to comment.

Hudson’s Bay’s bond offering would come on the heels of other capital raises by peers suffering from the pandemic’s economic fallout. On June 8, Macy’s Inc. said it had raised US$4.5 billion through bonds and a loan backed by its assets, while Nordstrom in April tapped capital markets for US$600 million. Other department-store chains were forced to file for bankruptcy because of the pandemic, including Saks rival Neiman Marcus Group and J.C. Penney Co Inc.

Hudson’s Bay was taken private earlier this year for close to $2 billion (US$1.5 billion) by an investor group led by Chairman Richard Baker. In March, it closed all of its stores due to the coronavirus outbreak. Hudson’s Bay’s eponymous department stores in Canada have been opening up since early May as virus-linked lockdowns have eased. 

Roughly half of Saks’s 41 stores across the United States were open on June 9, albeit with reduced hours.The Saks flagship store in Manhattan was boarded up this month in the wake of protests over the treatment of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes.

Source: Financial Post