Shareholders Approve Sears-Kmart Merger
Chicago, It’s official. Shareholders of Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Holding Corp. approved the merger of the two companies. Sears Holdings stock is expected to start trading on the Nasdaq National Market under the ticker symbol “SHLD” on March 28.
Kmart chairman Edward S. Lampert said: “The combination of Kmart and Sears will create a leading retailer, and we expect will provide heightened value for our customers, associates and shareholders. Sears Holdings will have an enviable stable of proprietary brands, strong points of distribution and enhanced growth opportunities.”
Lampert also denied reports that the company was interested in selling its Lands’ End division.
Almost 70% of shares outstanding approved the $12.3 billion merger.
Australia’s Foodland Up For Sale
Melbourne, Australia, Australian grocer Foodland Associated Ltd. put itself up for sale after Metcash Trading Ltd. made a hostile bid for the company, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Foodland is in discussions with several other suitors.
Foodland may consider selling its New Zealand assets separately. The grocer previously had announced plans to spin off its plum New Zealand business by August. Australian retail bruisers Coles Myer Ltd. and Woolworths Ltd. are rumored to be interested in Foodland’s New Zealand business, but both have declined comment.
Ultimate Electronics Plans Closings
Denver, Ultimate Electronics plans about 30 store closings, about half the number of its total store count of 62. The chain will leave markets in Iowa, South Dakota, Texas and Utah and Kansas City, Missouri, when the closings are completed by June 30. About 900 employees will lose their jobs through the closings, and another 65 employees of the central office will be terminated.