The current owners of Sears and Kmart have reached an agreement to purchase the remaining outstanding shares of Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores.
Transform Holdco LLC, which owns Sears and Kmart and is run by Edward Lampert, is purchasing all outstanding shares of Sears Hometown not currently owned by ESL Investments, a hedge fund also run by Lampert. Prior to the transaction, ESL held 58% of outstanding shares of Sears Hometown.
According to Transform, bringing the businesses under one ownership will accelerate the company’s strategy of growing its smaller store format by adding Sears Hometown stores. Also, company officials said the deal will expand the company’s footprint as a multi-channel business that can serve shoppers through various shopping experiences.
“Our investment demonstrates our commitment to growing Transform for the benefit of our members and customers, associates, vendors and communities across the country,” said Lampert. “While, initially, the companies will operate independently, we see many opportunities where we can partner to serve our customers better and enjoy efficiencies of scale once these businesses are under one roof.”
Sears Hometown presently maintains a network of 491 Hometown stores and 126 Outlet stores located in 49 states, Puerto Rico and Bermuda and generated $1.4 billion in net sales in 2018.
The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019, at which time Sears Hometown will cease to be a publicly-held corporation.