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Sears Offers $6.75 Per Share for Restoration

Reuters
Monday, 26 Nov 2007 | 2:30 PM ET

Sears Holdings has proposed buying furnishings retailer Restoration Hardware for $6.75 per share, according to a regulatory filing Monday.

Sears
Sears

The offer, made in a Nov. 23 letter to Restoration that Sears included in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, would top a management-led buyout valued at $6.70 a share, or $267 million, that Restoration said it agreed to earlier this month.

Restoration Hardware shares gained as much as 1 percent on the Nasdaq Monday.

Sears shares , also trading on the Nasdaq, slipped as much as 2.92 percent.

Sears Holdings, which operates the Kmart and Sears, Roebuck chains, last week disclosed that it owns a 13.7 percent stake in Restoration, and was thought to be considering a bid for the retailer.

Sears asked a special committee of Restoration's board for confidential information to submit a binding proposal for it, which was denied, according to the letter to a special panel of Restoration's board that was attached to the SEC filing.

The proposed $6.75 per-share tender offer, therefore, was based solely on publicly available information, Sears Executive Vice President William C. Crowley said in the letter.

Restoration announced on Nov. 8 that it agreed to a management-led buyout in a deal that includes private equity firm Catterton Partners. It is soliciting competing proposals from third parties during a 35-day period that ends Dec. 13.

A representative for Restoration Hardware was not immediately available to comment.

Sears Holdings, which is controlled by hedge fund manager Edward Lampert, posted a 40 percent drop in quarterly profit in August, and has unveiled new marketing campaigns for its Kmart and Sears chains in a bid to attract customers. Sales at stores open at least a year at both Kmart and Sears, Roebuck have sagged for the past six quarters.

Lampert said at Sears Holdings' annual meeting in May the retailer was considering acquisitions and other ways to use its cash.

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