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Hudson's Bay's European arm merges with Signa's Karstadt

Hudson's Bay Co. announced Sept. 11 that it will merge its European operations with Signa Holding GmbH-owned Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH, confirming earlier reports.

The Canadian department store operator will own a 49.99% stake in the combined entity, which will include Germany's Galeria Kaufhof and Karstadt banners.

Karstadt CEO Stephan Fanderl will lead the merged company, and Hudson's Bay and Signa will split the six seats on its board.

Hudson's Bay CEO Helena Foulkes said the deal enables the department store operator to focus on its North American arm.

In addition, Signa and Hudson's Bay will form a 50/50 joint venture that will operate the Canadian firm's German real estate assets, which will be valued at €3.25 billion.

Both the merger and the JV are expected to occur in the next 90 days, subject to regulatory approval from European competition authorities and to customary closing conditions.