HBC buys Germany’s Kaufhof

TORONTO — Hudson’s Bay Company has reached a $3.3 billion deal to purchase German department store chain Kaufhof from Metro, hoping to make a name for itself in the tough German market. The move is a gamble for Canada’s oldest company, given the considerable differences in Germany’s business culture. The struggling Kaufhof chain faces stiff competition in a market of thrifty customers with high expectations. High profile retailers who have exited Germany after failing to make strides include Walmart, which sold its stores to Metro at a loss in 2006, and Marks & Spencer.