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Sears ‘urged to consider privatisation’
Posted on Thursday, 07 December 2017 15:38
US department store chain operator Sears Holdings has been asked to mull over its options by a shareholder, according to Reuters.

The news provider reported that Switzerland-headquartered Memento, which owns just under 2.00 million shares in the Nasdaq-listed company, said various possibilities should be considered, including going private.

According to Reuters, the investor also believes the firm needs to conduct an investigation into an unusually high amount of short-selling of its shares.

Memento wants short-selling of the firm’s stock to be temporarily suspended.

As yet, Sears has not made any statement on the matter.

The company describes itself as a leading integrated retailer and operates through the subsidiaries Sears, Roebuck & Co and Kmart.

Its brands also include Kenmore, DieHard and Shop Your Way.

Sears posted revenue of USD 9.82 billion for the three quarters to 28th October 2017, down from USD 13.11 billion over the corresponding timeframe in the previous year.

Operating loss for the period stood at USD 223.00 million, narrowed from an operating loss of USD 1.26 billion over the first nine months of 2016.

According to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, there have been 111 deals targeting department store operators announced worldwide since the beginning of 2017.

The most valuable of these was worth USD 1.85 billion and involved Alibaba and Intime International Holdings acquiring the remaining 52.9 per cent shareholding in Cayman Islands-based Intime Retail Group back in May.

This was followed by a USD 386.00 million private placing of shares by Chinese firm Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store to undisclosed investors, which was announced in late November and remains subject to approvals.

Other department store operators to have been targeted since the beginning of this year include Korea-based Lotte Shopping, Eland Retail and Norwegian player Europris.

© Zephus Ltd