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Committee Blocks Nordstrom Family Buyout Plan

The Nordstrom family has made a first failed attempt at taking the company private.

The special committee of the board of directors of Nordstrom Inc. announced today that it has rejected a proposal put forward by the Nordstrom family to buy all outstanding shares of common stock plus the 21 percent already owned by family members for $50 per share in cash.

The Nordstrom family group, which consists of co-presidents Blake Nordstrom, Peter Nordstrom and Erik Nordstrom and president of stores James Nordstrom, chairman emeritus Bruce Nordstrom and Anne Gittinger, announced in June the plan to to purchased 100 percent of the outstanding shares of common stock.

The committee, which was formed to act on behalf of the retailer, reviewed the group’s indicative acquisition proposal with financial advisor Centerview Partners LLC and legal counsel Sidley Austin LLP and found it “inadequate.” “Special Committee has directed its advisors and management not to provide further due diligence information to the Group. Furthermore, unless the Group can promptly and substantially improve the price it is proposing to pay for the Company, the Special Committee intends to terminate discussions,” according to a release issued by the company. “The Special Committee is committed to protecting the interests of the Company and all of its shareholders.”

This development followed reports last month that the family was closing in on a deal.

The company repurchased 4.6 million shares of common stock for $206 in 2017. While the going private transaction is in the works, the retailer has halted plans to repurchases additional shares.

In Nordstrom’s most recent earnings report, the company reported a sales increase for the fourth quarter and the year but net earnings fell by 25 percent in the quarter.