Struggling US department store chain Sears to explore sale of Kenmore brand
15 May 2018
US struggling department store chain Sears yesterday announced that it had formed a special committee to explore the sale of its in-house appliance brand Kenmore and its related assets.
The related assets include the Sears Home Improvement Products business of the Sears Home Services division and the Parts Direct business of the Sears Home Services division.
The move came after the board received a letter from Connecticut-based hedge fund ESL Investments, Inc. expressing interest in buying all or a portion of the sale assets.
Sears has appointed a special committee, made up of independent directors, to evaluate ESL's proposal, to actively solicit third-party interest for the sale of these assets, and to explore any other alternatives to maximise value for the company.
The special committee has retained Centerview Partners to serve as its investment banker and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP to serve as its legal counsel.
Sears CEO Eddie Lampert had earlier written a letter to the board urging it to sell Kenmore along with other assets and offered to buy it himself through his hedge fund, ESL Investments,
Lampert owns a majority of shares in Sears Holding Corporation, the company that owns the Sears and Kmart chains.
Sears Holdings is the 23rd largest retailer in the US and operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co and Kmart Corporation, with full-line and specialty retail stores.
But analysts are sceptical about the sale of the Kenmore brand since all that will be left of Sears will be its inventory and whatever is left of its real estate.
In 2015, Sears had sold part of its real estate to Seritage Growth Properties, another Lampert-controlled company.