August 8, 2019 / 2:13 PM / a month ago

Investor Litt calls for removal of Hudson's Bay chairman

(Reuters) - Activist shareholder Jonathan Litt on Thursday urged for the removal of Hudson’s Bay Co (HBC.TO) Chairman Richard Baker from the board, saying the executive’s recent buyout offer showed that his interests were not aligned with minority shareholders.

Litt’s demand comes two months after a Baker-led consortium, owning 57% of Hudson’s Bay, offered to buy the struggling Canadian retailer for C$9.45 per share.

The buyout process and Baker’s approach has showed that he is “unqualified and far too conflicted” to continue as a director of the company, Litt said in a letter to Hudson’s Bay shareholders.

Litt said the shareholder group’s C$1.74 billion bid for the company was “woefully inadequate” and that he would urge Hudson’s Bay to immediately undertake a plan to monetize its real estate and distribute proceeds to shareholders if the offer was unsuccessful.

Hudson’s Bay was not immediately available for comment.

Last week, a special panel of the retailer reviewing the take-private bid had said that the offer was inadequate on an initial analysis.

Litt’s Land and Buildings and other shareholders have long criticized Hudson’s Bay for not doing enough to capitalize on the value of its properties.

Shares of the company were down about 1% at C$9.70.

Reporting by Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Maju Samuel

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