Sears Captures Canadian Prize

Discussion
Apr 07, 2006
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Sears Holdings Corp. announced that its bid to take over Sears Canada has become a reality now that it has received sufficient commitments to push the deal through.


Alan Lacy, vice chairman of the company, said in a released statement: “We are pleased that our transaction has received the support of a majority of the minority shareholders, including the two largest minority shareholders. With the success of our offer assured, we expect other Sears Canada shareholders to tender their common shares in order to promptly receive our offer price.”


According to The Associated Press, Sears expects to close the deal in December and then take Sears Canada private.


The company said it will extend its offer to Sears Canada shareholders through August 31. Some, however, seem intent on fighting the deal.


According to a Chicago Tribune report, Ronald Mayers, head of alternative strategies at Desjardins Securities Inc. in Montreal, is holding out for a higher offer. “Somebody thinks it ain’t over,” he said. “It’s check, but not checkmate.”


Moderator’s Comment: What will this deal mean for Sears Holdings and Sears Canada? What is the advantage for Sears Holdings in taking Sears Canada private?
– George Anderson – Moderator

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3 Comments on "Sears Captures Canadian Prize"


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Mark Lilien
Guest
14 years 10 months ago

Sears Canada is a much stronger player than Sears USA. If the Canada management remains, the division will continue to be a valuable business. The 2 countries’ markets are so different, however, that synergies aren’t obvious. The most important gain for Canada would be Edward Lampert’s financial engineering skills. He’s likely to monetize the real estate assets much more skillfully than the current management.

Gene Hoffman
Guest
Gene Hoffman
14 years 10 months ago

There are great retailers and there are great financiers.
At this writing, Mr. Lampert has qualified as the latter but the jury has a lot of deliberating to do before giving a verdict on the former.

When a great retailer acquires a large addition, such as Sears Canada, the thought of taking it private is hardly the first objective, but it might be the goal of a great money maven.

If this is really a retail growth project that’s worthy of being considered as being “Made in Heaven,” where is Heaven?

Stuart Shiell
Guest
Stuart Shiell
14 years 10 months ago
US ownership of Canadian retail entities is often stressful for Canadian retailers as the mothership struggles to grasp nuances in the Canadian marketplace. The tug-of-war between Canadian management and US strategies can potentially distract a Canadian retailer from what is right for Canadian sustainability. Typical areas where US retailers do not understand the Canadian Marketplace are: – Market size and demographic distribution: The population is concentrated in only a handful of far flung urban markets and the rest is rural. (Hence why the Sears Catalogue has been so successful). – Processes and new “offerings” need to be lean and mean. HQ overhead, IT investments, and headcount need to reflect the market potential and store count – Just because a revenue or bottom-line initiative was successful in the US, it does not necessarily to translate as successful for Canada. Canada is a different country and should be treated as carefully as any international venture!! If Sears Holdings is looking to influence operating models and retail strategy, I don’t believe this is a “good thing” for Sears… Read more »
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