Sears CFO describes decision points

Rob Schriesheim

Among the decisions facing Sears Holdings is what to do with its 51% stake of Sears Canada.

Rob Schriesheim, Sears Holdings' chief financial officer, addressed that question and others as part of the company's second-quarter earnings report.

"BofA Merrill Lynch continues to assist us in exploring strategic alternatives for our 51% interest in Sears Canada, including a potential sale of our interest or Sears Canada as a whole," Schriesheim said. "Our interest in Sears Canada has a current market value of approximately $765 million as of Aug. 19, 2014." 

Closing stores also factored heavily in his remarks.

"We also continue to reduce unprofitable stores as leases expire and in some cases will accelerate closings when it is economically prudent," he said. "We have already announced the closure of approximately 130 underperforming stores in fiscal 2014 and may close additional stores during the remainder of the year." 

Also up in the air is the fate of the Sears Auto Center business. "We have had discussions with third parties regarding a variety of opportunities, including partnerships," Schriesheim said. "In addition, over the next six to 12 months, we intend to work with our lenders and others to evaluate our capital structure with a goal of achieving more long-term flexibility, and may take other actions as appropriate." 

During the first half of the year, Sears generated about $665 million in liquidity, including the $500 million dividend it received from the separation of Lands' End.

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