Sycamore to bid on Sears Canada

The auction of a struggling Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) Canada has attracted the interest of Sycamore Partners for a possible buyout.

Led by Stefan Kaluzny, Sycamore is a private equity firm known for buying out distressed store brands, reported the New York Post. Sycamore recently bought Jones Group, which includes brands Talbots and Hot Topic. The purchase would entail assuming management of Sears Canada.

Insiders predict negotiations between Kaluzny and Sears' Eddie Lampert, who controls a majority of the retailer, will be tough in terms of haggling a better price.

Lampert has signaled that he wants $2 billion for the 176-store chain but may entertain reasonable lower offers. Lampert has controlled Sears since its 2005 merger with Kmart. He put the Canadian chain up for sale in May.

There were hopes of an auction for the controlling stake, which is being run by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, but some insiders predict a liquidation of the 61-year-old franchise by the holiday season.

A struggling Sears Canada attempted to turn around business at the beginning of the year by cutting 1,600 jobs, just months after cutting 1,800 employees and outsourcing customer service calls. Rumors that Lampert would sell off Sears Canada started as early as November 2013, but were initially denied.

For more:
-See this New York Post article

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