Sears Holdings plans to hire an investment banking firm to explore strategic alternatives regarding its 51% ownership stake in Sears Canada.
The strategic alternatives are said to include the potential sale of Sears Holdings’ interest or Sears Canada as a whole, according to a statement by the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company. In a separate statement, Sears Canada said its board of directors intended to cooperate fully with Sears Holdings in the strategic alternatives exploration process to achieve full value for all shareholders.
Sears Canada is a separate publicly held company that operates 176 Sears stores, 233 hometown deal stores, seven Sears home services showrooms and approximately 1,400 catalog and online merchandise pick-up locations in Canada.
Sears Canada sales during the 13 week fourth quarter ended February 1, 2014 declined 9.6% to $1.18 billion compared to $1.3 billion during the 14 week period the prior year. Same store sales also declined 6.4% due in large measure to extensive store closures related to severe winter weather. Full year sales for the 52 week period declined 8.2% to nearly $4 billion from $4.3 billion during the 53 week prior year fiscal period. Same store sales for the year fell 2.7%.