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Sears Canada executive in talks with private equity for deal: Reuters

Struggling retailer Sears Canada Inc’s top executive is negotiating a private-equity backed deal that could be valued at more than $650 million (US$533 million), the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The retailer’s Executive Chairman Brandon Stranzl last month stepped away from day-to-day operations to focus on plans for the company, which filed for creditor protection in June.

A potential deal by Stranzl would be financed partly through private-equity capital sourced by Vadim Perelman, the founder of Baker Street Capital Management, and with debt financing, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

The proposed offer would reduce the company’s store footprint by more than half but could retain at least 8,000 jobs while paying off bankruptcy loans, according to the report.

Sears Canada was not immediately available for comment.

The company, which in 2012 was spun off from U.S. retailer Sears Holdings Corp, has laid out a restructuring plan that includes cutting 2,900 jobs and closing roughly a quarter of its stores.

Update: Sears Canada’s top shareholders are ESL Partners, a U.S. hedge fund run by Eddie Lampert, and Fairholme Capital Management.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of PE Hub Canada)

Photo courtesy of Reuters/Mike Blake