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Edward S. Lampert

BY CSA STAFF

Billionaire-financier and hedge-fund king Edward “Eddie” S. Lampert, 45, operates in a world of high finance, investing in the down-and-out and the up-and-coming to seek outsize returns. His private-investment fund, ESL Investments, brought Kmart out of bankruptcy in 2003 and, a year later, merged it with another stumbling retailer, Sears, Roebuck and Co. to form Sears Holdings Corp. The merger created a retail giant, and a platform for Lampert to use for future deals. His current target: Restoration Hardware. Sears bought a 13.9% stake in the ailing home-furnishings retailer and, at presstime, was mulling over a full-out acquisition of the chain.

The idea of a Restoration Hardware acquisition hasn’t been a popular one among investors, especially given the recent performance of Sears, whose third-quarter profit fell 99%. Industry experts say that Lampert may have finally met his match in retail. But Lampert remains undiminished in his confidence and ability to turn things around. He’s betting on his own track record. Since establishing his hedge fund in 1988, Lampert has turned in average annual gains of about 30%, better than just about everyone else in the game.

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Borders to offer free resolution workshops

BY CSA STAFF

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Borders said Thursday that it is offering customers free in store events throughout the month of January to help them kick start their new year’s resolutions and learn how to keep them through the year. Programs include wellness fairs, yoga classes and diet seminars.

Borders reported that local organizations and community groups will be featured in activities and events at its stores across the country ranging from fitness centers and hospitals to singles groups and retirement centers.

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Schulze sells 440K shares of company stock

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy chairman and founder Richard Schulze sold 440,000 shares of Best Buy stock last week valued at $22.4 million. Schulze sold the stock at prices ranging from $50.71 to $51.18 per share. Earlier this month, Schulze sold 2.35 million shares valued at more than $120 million.

While Schulze’s stock sales are considerable, they represent just a fraction of his holdings at Best Buy. He’s estimated to still hold more than 68 million shares of stock amassed during 41 years with the company.

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