The Real Deal New York

Saks’ rebirth as REIT could save Hudson’s Bay $300M

August 12, 2013 11:00AM

By turning luxury retailer Saks into a real estate investment trust, Hudson’s Bay Company — which acquired it for $2.4 billion late last month — stands to slash about $300 million from the $2.8 billion in debt the buyer is incurring in the deal, Bloomberg News reported.

Hudson’s Bay is expected to move the assets of the combined companies to a REIT, which would result in a higher valuation of the company’s real estate because the buildings are seen as hard assets, not as part of a retail business, TD Securities told the publication. Hudson’s Bay paid a 44 percent premium in the deal, which includes ownership of Saks’ flagship store, located at 611 Fifth Avenue, Bloomberg News said.

The buyer, which also owns Lord & Taylor, will have about 320 retail locations worldwide, 179 of which are department stores, when the deal closes, as previously reported.

The company obtained financing commitments for $1.9 billion of term loans and a $900 million unsecured bridge loan, according to a July 29 regulatory filing cited by Bloomberg News. In addition, the deal contains two revolving credit lines, of $950 million and $729 million.

Saks owns or has ground leases for 53 percent of its 7.2 million square feet of real estate, the largest chunk of which belongs to the 646,000-square foot flagship, the report said. [Bloomberg News via Crain’s]Mark Maurer