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Catalyst buys into the Bay

The Catalyst Capital Group Inc. says it has acquired nearly 18.5 million shares in Hudson's Bay Co., a roughly a 10.05 per cent stake in the company, as a result of its tender offer.

The investment firm, which opposes a proposal to privatize the retailer, says it paid $187 million or $10.11 per share in cash for the stake.

Catalyst's offer for up to nearly 19.8 million shares expired on Friday.

A group led by board chairman Richard Baker has made a offer to take HBC private at $9.45 per share, a bid that HBC called inadequate in an initial analysis.

Catalyst says it's committed to working with HBC's special committee reviewing the takeover offer and the board to seek out every alternative that can maximize value for all shareholders.

Shares in HBC were up 38 cents, or 4.05 per cent, at $9.76 in early trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

"We are pleased with the result of our offer to HBC shareholders, which gave participating shareholders an immediate premium to both the market price of HBC shares and to the Baker group's proposal," Catalyst managing director Gabriel de Alba said in a statement.

"The 10.05 per cent of HBC shares adds to our existing holdings and we look forward to working with HBC, the special committee of the board and the company's stakeholders to ensure that this iconic company and its substantial assets are positioned to unlock value and that any transaction or strategic alternative maximizes value for the benefit of all shareholders."



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