By Lauren Coleman-Lochner
NEW YORK - Sears Holdings Corp. plans to raise as much as $770 million by selling 11 store sites and separating some smaller-format businesses after reporting its largest quarterly loss in at least nine years.
The rights offering to separate the Hometown and Outlet shops and some hardware stores may raise $400 million to $500 million, Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears said Feb. 23 in a statement. The 11 sites will be sold to General Growth Properties, the owner of Providence Place, for about $270 million, the retailer said. None of the stores are in Rhode Island.
Sears, controlled by hedge-fund executive Edward Lampert, has invested less money in stores than competitors as declining sales sap its earnings. The company said Dec. 27 it would close as many as 120 Sears and Kmart stores to generate as much as $170 million in cash from inventory and lease sales.
The company today also reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $2.4 billion, or $22.63 a share, compared with net income of $374 million, or $3.43 a year earlier. The fourth-quarter loss was the company’s largest since at least the quarter ending in October 2002. Sales fell about 4 percent to $12.5 billion, Sears said.
“We are taking immediate actions to address our fourth- quarter performance, including cost and inventory reductions,” Chief Executive Lou D’Ambrosio said in the statement.