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home : local news : local news
June 19, 2019

6/4/2019 2:06:00 PM
Sears business moves shouldn't affect local store
A corporate merger should have no impact on a local business.

Jake Baxter, franchise owner and operator of the Robinson Sears Hometown store, said it will be business as usual here, despite the re-joining of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc. to Sears' parent company.

Sears Hometown was spun off from Sears Holdings Corp., the former parent company of Sears and Kmart, in 2012.

Current holding company, Transform Holdco LLC, , controlled by former Sears CEO Eddie Lampert, is buying the rest of Sears Hometown it doesn't already own and reuniting the business with the Sears and Kmart stores.

Baxter, who has owned the local store for five and a half years, said the merger will allow Sears to place Hometown stores in markets where it previously closed larger Sears stores.

It also means Sears and Sears Hometown outlets will no longer be in competition with each other.

Transform said today it will pay $2.25 per share. ESL Investments Inc. and its affiliates, the majority owners of Transform, currently hold 58 percent of Sears Hometown's outstanding stock.

Under the deal, Sears Hometown can sell its Sears Outlet and Buddy's Home Furnishing Stores businesses (together, the "Outlet Segment") to a third party for not less than $97.5 million.

The going-private transaction is targeted to close in the third quarter.

The Robinson Sears Hometown store has been in business more than 20 years.

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