The Real Deal New York

Macy’s real estate assets valued at $21B

Activist investor Starboard Value urging retailer to sell off properties

July 16, 2015 08:00AM

Macy's on Herald Square and Starboard's Jeff Smith

Macy’s on Herald Square and Starboard’s Jeff Smith

It might be time for a big sale at Macy’s. And we’re not talking about shoes or home goods.

Activist investor Starboard Value has estimated the value of Macy’s real estate at $21 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company’s chief executive officer, Jeff Smith, said he accumulated a stake in Macy’s and hopes to sell off some real estate assets to boost the department store’s share price.

As a result of the Midtown East-based hedge fund’s announcement, Macy’s shares rose 7.9 percent, the biggest percentage gain since November 2013, according to the newspaper.

Macy’s — with flagships at Herald Square in New York City, Union Square in San Francisco, State Street in Chicago, as well as hundreds stores in numerous malls across the country — could enter into sale-leaseback deals for some of its most prominent locations, according to Starboard.

“We recognize the potential attractiveness of real estate investment trusts and similar alternative real estate ownership structures in today’s marketplace,” Macy’s told the newspaper. [WSJ] — Claire Moses