Willkie represented Saks owner Hudson’s Bay Company in connection with Saks OFF 5TH’s lease of 47,333 square feet in Manhattan’s Tower57.
On November 17, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, part of a brand portfolio owned by Willkie client Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), announced that it will open a new store in Tower57, located at 125 East 57th Street in Manhattan, in March 2016. Willkie represented HBC in connection with the lease of 47,333 square feet, which will house the first Saks OFF 5TH in New York City.
The lease agreement is the latest in a series of strategic transactions in which Willkie has represented HBC (TSX: HBC), one of the fastest-growing department store retailers in the world, including in its recent cross-border acquisition of Galeria Kaufhof for €2.5 billion. With the completion of the Galeria acquisition, HBC has an international retail platform comprising over 460 locations across eight leading banners in four countries. It operates the leading department store banners in Canada, Germany and Belgium, in addition to its iconic Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Saks OFF 5TH in the United States. In connection with the recent acquisition, HBS Global Properties, HBC’s real estate joint venture with Simon Property Group, acquired 41 Galeria properties in a transaction valued at €2.6 billion. Willkie also advised HBC in the formation of the joint venture earlier this year.
In 2013, the firm represented HBC in its acquisition of Saks for $2.9 billion, a deal that united three iconic retail brands – Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue – as well as in its $1.25 billion CMBS financing deal secured by HBC’s flagship Saks Fifth Avenue store property in 2014.
The Willkie team for the current transaction was led by partners Gordon Caplan and David Drewes and included of counsel Daniel Backer and associate Justin Elliott.