The owners of the buildings in which the Hudson’s Bay chain stores were located, now bankrupt, believe the retail chain is fraudulently trying to get out of outstanding rental debt. They fear losing 200 million euros as a result.
He reports that Financieele Dagblad.
The five retailers are suing the retail chain in their home country, Canada. CBRE Global Investors, the owner of the property in Maastricht, is also participating in the process, according to the newspaper, according to Canadian court documents.
Fraudulent relocation of assets
According to Dutch store owners, Hudson’s Bay fraudulently moved assets to Bermuda’s tax haven. The owners say the Canadian company was gutted to “nullify, hinder, harm or defraud creditors.”
The retail chain is said to have placed its most valuable assets, such as real estate in the United States, in a so-called offshore company in Bermuda. In this way, it would be very difficult for the creditors to collect the unpaid claims. “If you want to collect the rent in Canada, you have to go to the entity that issued the guarantee,” one of the landlord’s lawyers told FD. “And this entity suddenly has a lot less capital. The owners are wondering: is there anything left?”
Hudson’s Bay closed its stores in the Netherlands at the end of 2019, including the Maastricht branch in the old V&D building in the city center. Landlords say they are still entitled to past due rent. they are said to have renovated properties to the tune of millions at the behest of Hudson’s Bay and in return received long-term leases and other guarantees. They say Hudson’s Bay still owes them a lot of money.
Also read: Landlord battle over Hudson’s Bay properties
The lawsuit in Canada is another step in the already complex legal battle to settle the bankruptcy of the Dutch branch of the retail chain. A Hudson’s Bay spokesperson denied the allegations of fraudulent asset relocation. “These new claims from the Dutch owners are purely tactical and unfounded and we are fiercely defending ourselves against them,” the FD spokesperson said.