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US: Sears CEO’s hedge fund offers to buy Kenmore

 |  April 23, 2018

Retailer Sears has been struggling to find a buyer for its Kenmore appliance brand and other business lines, but according to news from The Wall Street Journal, CEO Edward Lampert of the store’s mother company, Sears Holdings, said that his hedge fund, ESL Investments, is interested in buying multiple units from the embattled retailer.

ESL Investments Inc. is considering purchasing the Sears’ Parts Direct and home improvement businesses. The fund might be interested in the retailer’s Kenmore brand and is on board to submit a proposal for the unit. In addition, ESL said it could buy Sears’ real estate. If that were to happen, Sears could, in turn, lease the stores to keep them running. The goal is to provide cash to the struggling retailer and prevent a bankruptcy filing.

“In our view, pursuing these divestitures now will demonstrate the value of Sears’ portfolio of assets, will provide an important source of liquidity to Sears and could avoid any deterioration in the value of such assets,” Lampert wrote in a letter to the board.

Over the last several years, Sears has seen its sales tank and foot traffic evaporate. In January, the retailer announced that it raised another US$100 million in financing and will be slashing US$200 million in annualized costs through measures other than store closures. Stores will be closing, however, and Sears said that it plans to shutter 103 stores in 2018.

Full Content: Wall Street Journal

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