Photographer: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg

Nordstrom Rises on Report Family Is Preparing Take-Private Offer

  • Retailer may present offer as soon as March, Reuters reports
  • Company wants to operate outside of glare of public markets

Nordstrom Inc. jumped the most in almost three months on a report that its founding family is getting close to finishing a plan to take the department-store chain private.

Members of the family want to to submit an offer as early as March, after banks get approval to provide financing for the deal, Reuters reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. The retailers’ shares rose as much as 7.4 percent to $54.

Nordstrom has sought to sidestep investors’ growing pessimism about department stores by taking the chain private, which would allow greater flexibility of action. Even a generally strong holiday period wasn’t enough to appease Wall Street, with shares declining after the company reported same-store sales growth in early January.

While Nordstrom has suffered from declining mall traffic, it has fared better than Macy’s Inc. and J.C. Penney Co. Its shares have advanced about 22 percent in the last 12 months.

Representatives for the company and the Nordstrom family declined to comment.

The Seattle-based retailer temporarily halted its search for financing to go private last year after lenders proposed interest rates that were higher than the family wanted to pay.

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