Nordstrom privatisation moves closer

The planned Nordstrom privatisation has taken a step forward with the US department store’s founding family appointing private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners to help manage the process.

According to US news reports the Nordstrom family is working with Leonard Green on a formal bid that could be submitted to shareholders within the next few weeks.

The Nordstrom family revealed in June they were considering delisting.  

According to news agency reports at the time, delisting the business would make it easier to undergo a comprehensive remodelling of the business to help it weather the US-wide slowdown in department store sales, fuelled by rising online shopping. The downside is that it would require raising significant debt to buy out shareholders.

The department store operator is valued at $8.21 billion based on Tuesday’s stock price. Family members control 31.2 per cent of its shares.

Nordstrom has 356 stores in 40 states, including 121 full-line stores in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico; 224 Nordstrom Rack stores; two Jeffrey boutiques; and two clearance stores.

According to CNBC, Leonard Green would provide the Nordstrom family with about $1 billion in equity to help fund an offer. Talks are taking place with banks to raise raise sufficient to buy out existing shareholders.


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