Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Takeover talk again swirls around Saks

June 13, 2008

Might Saks be taken over at some point? This rumor got new life on Friday when Citigroup analyst Deborah Weinswig noted that Iceland’s Baugur Group has consolidated and/or rolled over forward contracts for Saks shares into new ones that mature in July.

“We view this news as an incremental positive for our investment thesis for Saks as it increases our confidence that there is a probability of a takeout deal in Saks’s future,” Weinswig said in a research note.

The Saks takeover rumor picked up steam last year, when Baugur disclosed in an October filing that it could make a joint bid for the parent of Saks Fifth Avenue with Dubai-owned Landmark Group. Baugur repeated that in a filing this week.

The executive chairman of Baugur, Jon Asgeir Johannesson, told Reuters at the World Retail Congress in April that his company was content with its Saks holding and did not intend to make a takeover bid. Baugur, Johannesson and Landmark own about 9.7 percent of Saks common shares.

Saks shares shot up about 4 percent on Friday. Spokeswoman Julia Bentley said in an email that Saks doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation.

Stay tuned.

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