Kmart To Acquire Sears

Two years after retailer Sears, Roebuck, & Co. made business headlines by acquiring apparel cataloger Lands’ End, the general merchandise giant is involved in another huge deal: Troy, MI-based discount retailer Kmart Corp. has announced plans to acquire Sears in an $11.5 billion transaction.

The combined entity, to be called Sears Holdings Corp., will be based out of the Hoffman Estates, IL, headquarters of Sears. Kmart chairman Edward Lampert will serve as chair of the newly formed corporation; Sears CEO Alan Lacy will be vice chairman/CEO. The acquisition, which still needs to be approved by the Federal Trade Commission as well as the boards of directors of both companies, is expected to close in March.

It is not known if or how the deal will affect Sears’ direct sector, which includes the Sears Wishbook catalog in addition to Dodgeville, WI-based Lands’ End, or if the two retailers will merge any of their brands. “It’s just too early to specify on those things,” says Sears spokesperson Chris Brathwaite. He says that once the deal is approved early next year the two companies will decide on the best course to take. In any case, he notes, “we will bring to market something better together than we were able to bring to market separately.”

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