The legend says that 89 years ago, the head of hardware at Sears Roebuck really liked the name Craftsman, and bought the trademark from an existing tool company for $500 ($6,921 in 2016 dollars). Today, parent company Sears Holdings is troubled and in need of a cash infusion, and has quietly solicited bids for Craftsman. It’s reportedly worth around $2 billion.
We know this not because Sears Holdings has been out bragging about the potential sale, but because ever-mysterious “people with knowledge of the matter” talked to Bloomberg Markets about the sale. Interested buyers have to get their bids in by the end of this month.
Who are those interested buyers? The source has named the companies that are exploring a bid, which include Stanley Black & Decker, Techtronic, Apex, and Husqvarna.
Apex is one of the current manufacturers of Craftsman tools, so simply buying the brand would be an interesting move. The final bids aren’t due until the end of October, though, and not all of these companies will necessarily make a final bid.
Earlier this year, Sears announced plans to investigate other money-generating options for its store brands, including Craftsman, Kenmore, and DieHard. Since then, it has introduced DieHard tires and Kenmore televisions, which are either an attempt to extract more money from the brands, or to expand them before a potential sale.
Sears’s Craftsman Said to Get Interest From Black & Decker [Bloomberg Markets]
Our History [Craftsman]