Published May 14, 2014
Sears Holdings (SHLD) said Wednesday it may sell its majority stake in Sears Canada or put the entire Canadian retailer on the block.
The Sears and Kmart parent has unloaded several units over the last two years, spinning off Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores (SHOS) and Orchard Supply Hardware. Most recently, the company spun off clothing brand Lands’ End (LE) to existing shareholders.
The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based department-store operator is also exploring strategic options for Sears Auto Center, a chain of repair shops. Sears lost $1.4 billion in fiscal 2013 and has closed 300 U.S. stores since 2010.
Sears said it plans to hire an investment bank to help the company evaluate a possible sale involving Sears Canada, which is 51%-owned by Sears. CEO Ed Lampert’s hedge fund, ESL Investments, owns a minority stake in the subsidiary.
Sears Canada has around 450 stores and swung to a profit last year even though sales dropped. The department-store chain is facing more competition, with rivals like Target (TGT) and Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) expanding their operations in Canada.
Sears rose 1% to $43.67 in recent trading, paring bigger gains from early Wednesday. As of Tuesday’s close, the stock was down 11.9% since the start of 2014.