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Hudson's Bay special panel says Chairman Baker's bid inadequate

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Hudson's Bay special panel says Chairman Baker's bid inadequate

(Reuters) – A special panel of Hudson’s Bay Co ( HBC.TO ) reviewing a C$1.74 billion take-private bid for the retailer, proposed by Chairman Richard Baker and a group of shareholders, said the offer was inadequate based on an initial analysis.

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The Baker-led consortium, owning 57% of Hudson’s Bay, had offered to buy the struggling retailer for C$9.45 per share in June

Shares have since surged more than 50% and gone past Baker’s bid, closing at C$9.79 on Thursday

Activist shareholder Jonathan Litt had lambasted the bid as “woefully inadequate” then, saying the company was worth double what the group was offering

He had also asked the committee of independent directors reviewing the bid to hire an independent investment bank to evaluate the value of Hudson’s Bay’s real estate and retail banners

In July, private equity firm Catalyst Capital Group Inc offered to buy a near C$150 million stake in Hudson’s Bay, and said it would oppose Baker’s take-private proposal

The special committee on Friday said it was not in a position to make a recommendation on Catalyst’s offer to buy up to 14.85 million shares of Hudson’s Bay at C$10.11 per share

The committee and its financial advisors expect to meet with representatives of various shareholders next week to discuss the buyout proposal and Catalyst Capital’s offer

Reporting by Debroop Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber