Nordstrom pops after reports the retailer could go private

Shares of Nordstrom surged as much as 11% after-hours Tuesday after it was reported that the family was nearing a deal with Leonard Green to take the department store private.

CNBC reported late Tuesday that the Nordstrom family — which owns 31.2% of the Seattle-based department store — was in talks with private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners to buy up the remaining public stock in the company.

The group is talking to banks about raising up to $US8 billion in debt in order to acquire the remaining 68.8% of public stock not controlled by the family, CNBC reported, and has “appointed an independent special committee” to assess the offer.

Nordstrom was founded in 1901, and today has 349 stores in 40 states. So far, the luxury department store has largely avoided the full brunt of the ‘retail apocalypse,’ but the stock is trading at just 55% of its $US82 peak in March of 2015.

Nordstrom announced on Monday that it is testing a new store concept that’s just a fraction of the usual size, and doesn’t sell close. The experiment will open in Hollywood, California next month at just 3,000 square feet — just 2% the normal footprint. Shares declined roughly 3% on the news.

Shares of Nordstrom closed at $US45.05 on Tuesday, and were trading up 8.77% at 4:30 p.m. in New York.

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