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Friday, November 7, 2014

Sears says may sell stores to REIT in latest move to raise cash, (NASDAQ: SHLD)

Sears Holdings Corp said Friday it may sell up to 300 stores to a real estate investment trust in a move that would spin off prized assets to shareholders and could accelerate a breakup of the retailer by billionaire Chief Executive Eddie Lampert.Shares of the retailer rocketed 34 percent to $43.71 as investors cheered the possible influx of cash at a time when the company, hampered by sluggish sales, is losing about $7 million a day.Sears said it was considering a sale of 200 to 300 of its stores to a newly created real estate investment trust (REIT), which would then lease the properties back to Sears. Shareholders would be offered rights to purchase shares in the REIT in proportion to their ownership of Sears stock.The move is the latest in a series of unusual transactions between the company and CEO Eddie Lampert, who has through his hedge fund in recent months subscribed to two rights offerings and anchored a $400 million loan. Lampert owns 48.5 percent of Sears and is expected to invest that proportion in the REIT.

Sears Holdings Corporation (Holdings) is a retailer with 2,172 full-line and 1,338 specialty retail stores in the United States operating through Kmart Holding Corporation (Kmart) and Sears, Roebuck and Co. Shares of SHLD traded higher by 35.9% or $11.7295/share to $44.40. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $22.45 and as high as $62.87. On average, 1639030 shares of SHLD exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 9740906.