Hudson's Bay Co. has agreed to give Jerry Zucker's Maple Leaf Heritage Investments Acquisition Corp. access to its books, almost two months after the U.S. investor made a $1.1-billion hostile offer for Canada's oldest company.
In connection with the confidentiality agreement, Heritage agreed to extend the expiry date of its offer to Jan. 31 from Dec. 29. Last week, the U.S. financier said he would soften the conditions in its bid and extend the deadline, provided he got access to the retailer's books.
"We are very pleased to have reached this agreement with HBC," said Mr. Zucker, chairman and chief executive of Heritage, in a release. "We can now look forward to working together with the company."
Mr. Zucker owns almost 19 per cent of HBC, and has been a presence on the sidelines for more than two years. In late November, he said he'd be willing to raise his bid if the company gives him access to confidential information that shows it's worth more.
Earlier this month, HBC asked Mr. Zucker to modify what HBC had termed "highly unusual" and unacceptable conditions in his hostile offer, according to Mr. Zucker's camp. HBC had also asked Mr. Zucker to extend the deadline to the end of January and spell out exactly what confidential information he wanted.
HBC shares rose 14 cents or 1 per cent to $14.65 in Toronto trading. They've risen 8.3 per cent this year.
With files from Marina Strauss.