What happened

Shares of Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN) were moving higher in late trading today after Reuters said that Nordstrom's founding family was close to finalizing an offer to take the company private. The news comes after several months of back-and-forth efforts by the family to take control of the department store chain. Nordstrom shares closed up 6.5% on the report.

So what 

The Nordstrom family, which currently owns 31.2% of the company, had originally expressed interest in taking the company private last June, but a financing package it tried to put together over the summer fell apart. Since then, Nordstrom shares have risen, but the family is still intent on taking over the company.

The entrance to a Nordstrom Rack store

Image source: Nordstrom.

According to Reuters, family members met with investment banks this week and hope to submit a proposal as soon as early next month. Details of the potential offer were not known. 

Not surprisingly, the stock spiked on the news, as any buyout would come at a premium to the stock's current price.

Now what 

Nordstrom is set to report earnings next Thursday, following a solid holiday season during which comparable sales increased 1.2%. For the fourth quarter, analysts expect revenue to grow 6.9% to $4.62 billion and earnings per share to dip from $1.27 to $1.25.

Today's news should put a floor on the stock price if the earnings report disappoints as investors will be focused on the potential buyout. An offer could come as soon as next week's earnings report.

Jeremy Bowman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Nordstrom. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.