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Nordstrom turns down buyout bid from founding family

It’s no secret that the Nordstrom family has been trying to take the company private for quite a while now. Considering the current difficult state of the retail environment, the group allegedly believes that taking the company out of the public market would give them the freedom to innovate and turn its fortunes around without the intervention of investors.

Although these efforts started last June, a solid deal did not materialize, and the endeavor was put on hold in October until after the holiday season.

The founding family finally came up with an offer of $50 a share with a total value of about $8.4 billion in order to buy out the company. This bid was termed insufficient by the independent directors of the board who also threatened to abort discussions if a subsequent suitable offer was not made.

Nordstrom does not have a CEO like its peers. It is operated by a co-president triad whose members Blake Nordstrom, Erik Nordstrom, and Peter Nordstrom are all part of the founding family faction.

A special committee appointed by the board to oversee the transaction has prohibited the management from sharing any due-diligence information with the family group.

The family has termed the current deal as generous, so it remains to be seen whether it will be willing to raise its offer and to what extent. There is also a possibility that external buyers could take an interest in the transaction and perhaps place their own bets.

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