ST. LOUIS -- Merger talks between May Department Stores Co. and rival Federated Department Stores Inc. reportedly have ended after the two retailers could not agree on how much Federated would pay for May.
Negotiations broke down last week between Cincinnati-based Federated, owner of Macy's and Bloomingdale's chains, and St. Louis-based May, operator of Lord & Taylor, Filene's, and other regional department stores, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.
The May board was prepared to negotiate a deal, with May's interim chief executive, John Dunham, talking by telephone with Federated chief Terry Lundgren, before the dialogue ended after the price emerged as the sticking point, the Journal said.
May and Federated declined to comment yesterday.
May fell in early trading yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange but rebounded later, rising 24 cents to close at $32.10. Federated shares gained 75 cents to close at $58 on the NYSE.
Speculation about a Federated-May marriage has simmered for weeks. The breakdown in talks follows May's disclosure last week that its fourth-quarter earnings had slid on weaker sales at stores open at least a year and fallen short of Wall Street's expectations. That earnings release was the first since last month's abrupt departure of chairman and chief executive Gene Kahn.