undergroundnewsroom.com February 20, 2018

WeWork To Take Over Lord & Taylor's NY HQ In $850M Deal

25 October 2017, 01:04 | Gordon Grant

HBC sells Lord & Taylor flagship store in NYC to WeWork for $1B

HBC sells flagship New York location to WeWork for US$850M

One of Hudson's Bay's shareholders, the real estate investment firm Land and Buildings Investment Management, has pushed for the company to sell the Saks store, suggesting it might be desirable to a hotel developer or as bricks and mortar space for Amazon.

The Lord and Taylor building will continue to operate though the 2018 holiday season.

In addition, Rhone Capital will make $500 million equity investment in HBC in the form of eight-year mandatory convertible preferred shares.

The purchase of Lord & Taylor's Fifth Avenue building took place through affiliates of WeWork Property Advisors - a joint venture between WeWork and Rhône.

The department store's flagship, known for its Christmas time displays on Fifth Avenue, has been sold to office company WeWork for $850 million.

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He added that WeWork, which provides shared workspace for entrepreneurs and startups, is paying a 30 percent premium to the Lord & Taylor building's last appraised value.

The flagship store at the building in NY would continue operations through the 2018 holiday season after which it will be converted into WeWork's headquarters, the company said on Tuesday.

Chairman Richard Baker will serve as the interim CEO while the company searches for a replacement.

Hudson's Bay said the deal would help it reduce debt by C$1.6 billion (S$1.72 billion) and ramp up its liquidity to about C$1.1 billion.

The retail group has been under pressure for some time to create value from some of its real estate holdings. The retail space will be reduced from 650,000 sq. ft.to 150,000 sq. ft. and will be confined to the bottom floors. And as such, he sees the transaction as a boon to HBC department stores because not only are they monetizing unproductive space, but he anticipates a sales boost as a result of the WeWorks presence. The deal will see the space transformed after the 2018 holiday season to become WeWork's NY headquarters. The department store was the first to create Christmas windows for sheer entertainment, rather than for selling merchandise. "There is no reason why retail space should not be part of that movement".

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