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HBC minority shareholder files lawsuit to block privatization bid

A minority shareholder filed a lawsuit today to block a bid to take Hudson’s Bay Co. private.

New-York based Ortelius Advisors L.P. says it filed a lawsuit at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice against Hudson’s Bay Co. and the group making the privatization bid led by HBC executive chairman Richard Baker.

The suit alleges the Baker-led group did not act in the interest of shareholders and prevented a fair market price for their shares, and that HBC made a number of misrepresentations and omissions in an information circular it prepared for shareholders.

None of the claims have been proved in court. Neither HBC nor the shareholder group behind the bid immediately responded to a request for comment.

The matter is also before the Ontario Securities Commission after another minority shareholder, Catalyst Capital Group Inc., requested a hearing to block the bid.

HBC has scheduled a special meeting of shareholders to vote on the privatization proposal for $10.30 per share on Dec. 17. The company is encouraging minority shareholders to support the bid.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2019.

Companies in this story: (TSX:HBC)

The Canadian Press