Then the Sun-Times has a story...
Rumors swirled Friday that Macy's could be sold to private-equity buyers this weekend, leading experts to speculate that Macy's flagship store on State Street could be shuttered and sold, or returned to its Marshall Field's origins.Carson, Pirie, Scott is certainly a sad case. A nice building shuttered and to be used but not as a department store as it had been since it was built.
Shares of Macy's, the Cincinnati-based owner of Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores, jumped as high as 10.3 percent (to $43.11) on Friday before ending the day up 6.6 percent at $41.43, on Wall Street rumors that it could fetch a bid of more than $30 billion.
The likely buyers, at a rumored $52 a share, were Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the buyout firm famous for its takeover of RJR Nabisco in the 1980s, and Goldman Sachs Group, Macy's longtime investment banker.
Spokespeople for Macy's, KKR and Goldman Sachs declined comment.
Another rumor had Allen Questrom, the retail veteran who turned around JC Penney and mentored Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren, as involved in a takeover deal. Questrom, a senior adviser for Lee Equity Partners in New York, did not return a telephone call.
Macy's is an obvious choice for takeover because it has valuable real estate, steady cash flow, lagging sales in its newly converted Macy's stores, and undervalued shares that fail to reflect its value, experts said Friday.
"It's a big-name brand, a blue-chip asset in retail. It would be interesting for private equity to own," said Marc Weinberger, head trader at W. Quillen Securities in New York.
Retail expert Howard Davidowitz said new owners could sell the Macy's flagship on State Street for its tremendous real estate value, and further the breakup of big department stores on State Street. Carson Pirie Scott & Co. shuttered its 102-year-old flagship at 1 S. State St. in February, and the building is being divided for smaller, as-yet-unnamed retailers and entertainment uses.
Filene's historic flagship in Boston, shuttered last year by Macy's, was bought by a private-equity firm and is being converted into a multi-use building with specialty retailers, condos, hotel and office space.
New owners could also change Macy's back to Field's, said Frederick Schmitt, principal with the Sage Group in Los Angeles.
It would be sad if it was decided to close the main Department store and for good at that. I miss those green bags, that they used to have. I still wonder about their decision to drop the Field's name from their stores.
Hopefully someone will come up with a good deal that will not result in the loss of job and the closing of even the historic department store on State Street.