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2017-06-08 16:07:02
Nordstrom to Explore Leveraged Buyout as Retail Sector Reels

Nordstrom’s founding family is exploring ways to take the department store chain private, the company announced on Thursday, as the retail industry continues to be buffeted by an array of ills.

In a statement, Nordstrom said that members of the family that founded the company more than 100 years ago — including its co-presidents and its chairman emeritus — have formed a group to consider buying shares in the company held by other investors.

The decision by the Nordstroms comes as the traditional retail industry is reeling from slumping sales, forcing chains to close stores and, in some cases, file for bankruptcy protection.

Shares in the retailer were up more than 15 percent in early trading on Thursday on the news, giving the company a market value of $7.8 billion. Its shares have fallen 2.8 percent in the 12 months before Thursday’s announcement.

Nordstrom’s board has formed a special committee of independent directors to consider any potential offer, and it has retained the investment bank Centerview Partners and the law firm Sidley Austin as advisers.

The family members exploring the buyout — the co-presidents, Blake W. Nordstrom, Peter E. Nordstrom, and Erik B. Nordstrom; the president of stores, James F. Nordstrom Jr.; the chairman emeritus, Bruce A. Nordstrom; and Anne E. Gittinger — collectively own a substantial block of Nordstrom shares.