Hudson’s Bay in JV talks for Kaufhof

TORONTO — Hudson’s Bay Co. is negotiating a joint venture between its German Kaufhof chain and Austrian realty firm Signa Holdings, sources told Reuters this week. HBC rebuffed Signa’s €3 million offer for Kaufhof earlier this year, but remains keen to solidify its position as bricks-and-mortar retailers continue to lose ground to online merchants. In a turnaround for HBC, the deal under discussion would see Karstadt, Signa’s department store wing, acquire half of Kaufhof’s property business and 51% of its operating business, with an option to buy the remainder down the road. Reuters’ sources noted that the success of the negotiations is not a sure thing.