Retailer Kmart Holding Corp. announced it is combining with Sears, Roebuck & Co., in an U.S. $11 billion deal that will reportedly create the third largest retailer in the U.S.
The new company, Sears Holdings Corp., will continue to operate the Kmart and Sears stores under their current brand names.
The combined company is expected to have $55 billion in annual revenues, 2,350 full-line and off-mall stores, and 1,100 specialty retail stores, trailing only Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. among the largest U.S. retailers.
The new company will be headquartered in the northwestern Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, IL, U.S., where Sears has its headquarters, but will maintain a presence in Troy, MI, U.S., where Kmart is based.
Kmart chairman Edward Lampert will be the chairman of Sears Holdings, while Sears CEO Alan Lacy will be vice chairman and CEO of the new company. The new 10-member Sears Holdings board will have seven members from Kmart and three from Sears.
The merger, expected to close by the end of March 2005, is subject to approval by Kmart and Sears shareholders, regulatory approvals, and customary closing conditions.
"The combination will greatly strengthen both the Sears and Kmart franchises by accelerating the Sears off-mall growth strategy and enhancing the brand portfolio of both companies," Mr. Lacy said. "This will clearly be a win for both companies' customers while significantly enhancing value for all shareholders." (Associated Press)
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