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Nordstrom ends buyout talks with founding family

U.S. department store operator Nordstrom Inc. said March 20 that its special committee of directors terminated talks with members of the company's founding family about a potential takeover. The talks were called off after the committee failed to reach an agreement with the family on an "acceptable price for the company."

Members of the founding family constituted a group in June 2017 to explore a going-private transaction. The group submitted an offer to purchase all outstanding shares not owned by the group, along with 21% of shares already owned by the family, for $50 per share in cash.

Nordstrom's board on March 5 rejected that offer and said the discussion could continue only if the family group would "substantially improve the price it is proposing to pay."

The group that made the proposal to take the Seattle-based company private includes Nordstrom co-Presidents and Directors Blake Nordstrom, Peter Nordstrom and Erik Nordstrom; President of Stores James Nordstrom, Chairman Emeritus Bruce Nordstrom, and Anne Gittinger.

The special committee is being advised by Centerview Partners LLC as its financial adviser and Sidley Austin LLP as legal counsel.

According to an amended ownership filing March 5, the group's collective ownership in Nordstrom is 31.3% of the company's outstanding common stock.