Nordstrom Board Rejects Privatization Offer From Founding Family

It looks like Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) is running out of options, at least when it comes to a sale.

The department store and holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust said Monday that its board of directors has rejected the Nordstrom family's proposal to take the the company private at $50 per share, which would value the company at about $8.3 billion. Nordstrom traded at $53.04 per share on Friday, March 2, before the announcement of the rejection Monday afternoon, and traded down about 2.5% after-hours to $50.60 per share.

The special committee of the board of directors "has determined that the price proposed is inadequate," the company said in a statement. Unless the Nordstrom family can improve the price, it "intends to terminate discussions."

The committee tapped Centerview Partners LLC as its financial adviser and Sidley Austin LLP as legal counsel.

Last month, reports emerged that the Nordstrom family was about to finalize plans to take the Seattle-based chain private, five months after a buyout deal with Leonard Green & Partners LP fell through. In its latest buyout proposal, it's likely that Leonard Green is still involved, sources told TheStreet.

The Nordstrom family announced in June that it would be exploring options for going private as all of retail struggled to grow sales. But since then, the company has reported three decent quarters, beating Wall Street forecasts for earnings and net sales each time. In its most recent earnings report, it posted comparable sales increase of 2.6%. 

Still even without a deal the company does have upside, according to Cramer and the AAP team.

"The earnings weakness in the quarter related to the company's margins, but we believe the company has laid a solid foundation for stability and improvement," wrote the Action Alerts PLUS team in a note March 2

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