ESL Affiliate Makes Sears Holdings Acquisition Official

Nearly four months after Sears Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the acquisition of the retailer by ESL Investments is now official.

ESL said its affiliate, Transform Holdco LLC, has completed the acquisition of Sears Holdings Corporation on a going-concern basis for approximately $5.2 billion.

The new Sears will comprise 223 Sears and 202 Kmart stores, along with well-known brands and operating businesses, including Kenmore, DieHard, Craftsman, Sears Home Services, Sears Auto Centers and Innovel.

“The best possible outcome has now been realized for all stakeholders, including Sears’ many associates, Shop Your Way members, vendors and other partners,” said Edward Lampert, CEO of ESL.

As of the closing of the acquisition, the new Sears had more than $400 million in excess availability on its new asset-backed credit facility. Company officials said this allows Sears to pay liabilities, execute new initiatives including investments in new smaller stores and expand the company’s reach in the hardline category.

The new Sears will be led by the management team that constituted the Office of the Chief Executive of Sears Holdings, consisting of Robert A. Riecker, Chief Financial Officer; Leena Munjal, Chief Digital Officer; and Greg Ladley, President, Softlines.

The company intends to conduct a search for a CEO with a record of success in managing platform businesses and effectuating large-scale dynamic transformations.