RPT-UPDATE 2-Hudson's Bay to sell flagship store, debut Saks in Canada

Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:31pm EST
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* HBC sells retail complex, Simpson's Tower for C$650 million

* HBC to lease back space, open 150,000-square-foot Saks

* Cash will go toward debt, growth initiatives, HBC says

By Susan Taylor

TORONTO, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Hudson's Bay Co said on Monday that it will sell its flagship downtown Toronto store and neighboring office tower for C$650 million ($587.09 million) to commercial real estate heavyweight Cadillac Fairview Corp and open a full-line Saks store in the leased-back space.

The historic Canadian retailer has long floated plans to unlock the value of its real estate but had previously given no time frame. Its shares ended 1.2 percent higher at C$16.89 in Toronto after spending most of the session in negative territory.

"Investors are wondering are there still plans to go ahead with the REIT (real estate investment trust), because obviously there is a lot more substantial value underlying, in the remaining real estate assets, than what we've seen them unlock today," said Canaccord Genuity analyst Derek Dley.

"There's been a lot of waiting for an announcement on what these guys were going to do with their real estate and we got a little bit of something here today, but I do think there will be more to come."   Continued...