Sears Circles Back Around To Idea Of Selling Sears Canada Stake

Sears Holdings Corporation first started whispering that it might spin off or sell its stake in Sears Canada a few years ago, when the company first started publicly naming parts of itself that it could sell for cash. Since then, Hometown and Outlet stores are thriving as a spun-off company, so why not Sears Canada?

Sears Holdings, parent company of Sears department stores and Kmart discount stores here in the United States, owns 51% of the retail chain up north. The rest is publicly traded stock, or owned by an investment firm. This morning, the company announced that it is hiring an investment bank to “[explore] strategic alternatives” regarding Sears Canada. Those “alternatives” may include Sears selling its stake, or having another company acquire Sears Canada altogether.

Sears Canada is the second-largest department store chain in Canada. While same-store sales have been falling, the company isn’t doing as badly as its corporate half-parent down south. Earlier this year, the company announced 1,400 layoffs in call centers and warehouses across the country. Sears Canada

Sears Holdings, led by manifesto-writing CEO Eddie Lampert, continues to sell off parts of itself, spinning off Land’s End earlier this year and continuing to bring up the idea of selling or spinning off its Auto Centers.

By the way, Lampert’s hedge fund, ESL Investments, owns 17.4% of Sears Canada.

Sears Exploring Options for Canada Stake, Including Sale [Bloomberg]