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Friday, February 2, 2024

Indigo receives privatization offer from Gerald Schwartz

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Published Feb 01, 2024  •  2 minute read

An Indigo bookstore is seen Wednesday, November 4, 2020 in Laval, Quebec. Photo by Ryan Remiorz /The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Indigo Books & Music Inc. says it has received a proposal to take the retailer private from a pair of companies owned by controlling shareholder Gerald Schwartz.

The non-binding proposal from Trilogy Retail Holdings Inc. and Trilogy Investments L.P. would see them purchase the issued and outstanding shares of Indigo it does not already own for $2.25 in cash per common share.

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The two Trilogy firms are personal holding companies of Schwartz, the Onex Corp. founder and chairman who sits on Indigo’s board of directors and is the spouse of Indigo chief executive Heather Reisman.

Through the Trilogy firms, Schwartz is the controlling shareholder of Indigo. He owns around 56 per cent of the company’s issued and outstanding common shares, while another 4.6 per cent belong to Reisman through a different holding company.

Trilogy says the offer represents a 50 per cent premium over Indigo’s closing price on the last day of January.

It says it’s not interested in selling any of its shares.

Indigo announced layoffs earlier this year as part of the retailer’s ongoing efforts to streamline its operations.

Indigo spokeswoman Melissa Perri said at the time that the cuts were part of the company’s strategic plan meant to return the business to profitability.

The company has seen several quarters of financial losses as well as a number of changes to its executive and board of directors over the last year.

Most recently, the company reported a net loss of $22.4 million in its second quarter, a period when founder and chief executive Heather Reisman retired and turned the business over to Peter Ruis.

Ruis left the company abruptly in September, making way for Reisman to return.

Shares in Indigo closed Thursday down 1.33 per cent at $1.48. The stock price’s 52-week high was $2.60 on Oct. 4.

The retailer will report its financial results for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2023 in the coming weeks, but has not yet set a date for their release.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2024.

Companies in this story: (TSX:IDG)

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Kaylie Pferten
Kaylie Pferten
A pilot of submersible crafts in a former life, now married to my husband David and writing about investment advice.

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