FINANCE

Sears to explore sale of assets

BY Marianne Wilson

Sears Holdings Corp. is considering the sale of one of its signature brands along with some other assets.

The struggling retailer announced that a special committee of its board is initiating a “formal process” to explore the sale of its Kenmore brand, along with the home improvement products business and the Parts Direct business of the Sears Home Services division. In April, ESL Investments, the hedge fund run by Sears CEO Eddie Lampert, sent a letter in which it which it said it is willing to make a proposal to buy those assets.

The letter, signed by Lampert, noted that Kenmore and the other assets in question have “substantial value” and that divesting one or more of them would enable Sears to improve its debt profile and liquidity position. ESL described Kenmore as an “iconic brand” and said it would be prepared to close a deal for the brand within 90 days.

In its announcement, Sears noted it is also considering “other alternatives…that may maximize value” for Sears.

Sear said it does not plan to comment further about any asset sales “until it determines that additional disclosure is appropriate.”

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