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Sears Enters Confidentiality Pact with Restoration Hardware

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Hoffman Estates, Ill. Sears Holdings Corp. has agreed to enter into a confidentiality agreement with Restoration Hardware Inc., the furnishings chain that Sears has offered to buy.

The Dec. 7 agreement, disclosed in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Monday, allows for Sears to complete due diligence on a possible transaction with Restoration Hardware.

Restoration Hardware had previously said it would provide the information if Sears signed the same confidentiality and standstill agreement agreed to by other suitors.

Sears Holdings' bid tops an accepted offer from Catterton Partners, a private-equity firm with a definitive agreement to buy Restoration Hardware for $6.70 per share. Restoration Hardware is reserving the right to review competing proposals through Thursday.

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