Mar 30, 2012
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Sears exploring sale of Lands' End

Mar 30, 2012

NEW YORK - Sears Holdings Corp chairman Edward Lampert is exploring the sale of the retailer's Lands' End brand, the New York Post reported on Thursday.

While it is early in the process, the hedge fund manager is likely to tap Goldman Sachs to run the sale, the paper reported, citing unnamed sources.

Photo: Sears

Lampert, who is also the biggest shareholder of the parent of Sears department stores and the Kmart discount chain, has approached a handful of private-equity firms as he looks to raise as much as $2 billion in cash, the paper said.

The news comes a month after the retailer posted a $2.4 billion quarterly net loss and a 19th straight quarter of declining sales.

Sears spokeswoman Kimberly Freely said the retailer doesn't "comment on market rumors or speculations."

Lampert is looking to find a buyer who will license Lands' End to Sears while pursuing growth elsewhere, possibly in Europe, the paper said, citing a source.

"We continue to believe that Sears will sell off or spin off assets in a controlled liquidation of its chain, monetizing the assets least tied in with Sears US stores first," Credit Suisse analyst Gary Balter said in a note, adding that Lands' End and Sears Canada were "the most separable assets" in the chain.

"Over time, selling off the profitable assets is unlikely to be a winning strategy," Balter said.

Sears shares were down 3 percent to $66.91 in late morning trade.

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