FINANCE

Liberty Tax’s retail buying spree continues

BY Marianne Wilson

Sears Hometown has sold its outlet business to a company with a rapidly expanding retail portfolio.

Liberty Tax announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire the Sears Hometown’s Outlet business and its group of 41 franchised Buddy’s Home Furnishings stores in an all cash transaction valued at up to approximately $132.9 million.

Liberty is the parent company of Liberty Tax Service and lease-to-own Buddy’s Home Furnishings and is in the process of acquiring The Vitamin Shoppe. The acquisitions are part of Liberty’s ongoing strategy to transform itself from a tax services business to an investment company specializing in franchised and related businesses.

Upon the closing of its latest transaction, Liberty’s store portfolio will include several hundred retail locations with a combination of company operated and franchisee operated stores.

“We are excited about the acquisition of Sears Outlet and its unique model that offers its customers in-store and online access to outlet-value products across a broad assortment of merchandise categories, while serving as a valuable supply chain partner for its vendors,” said Andrew Laurence, chairman, Liberty Tax. “This is a continuation of Liberty Tax’s strategy of identifying and acquiring franchised or franchiseable businesses while also building scale at attractive acquisition valuations.”

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