Sears Holdings Officially Files to Spin Off Lands' End

Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD  ) announced today that it has filed the necessary paperwork with the SEC to begin the process of spinning off its Lands' End unit. This follows an announcement in October in which the company declared its intention to spin off both Lands' End and the Sears Auto Center operations.

While the company did not provide details in its press release related to the potential value of the spinoff, it did note its intention would be to distribute all shares of Lands' End to current Sears Holdings shareholders in a pro rata distribution. It anticipated this move would be tax-free for its current shareholders, apart from any cash received for fractional shares. The potential spinoff will first have to be approved by the current board of directors at Sears Holdings.

Lands' End, which sells clothing and home goods on the Internet and through catalogs, began in 1963 as a sailboat hardware and equipment catalog, but morphed into a clothing company by 1977. Sears bought the company in 2002.

In a separate filing with the SEC, Lands' End announced it intended to list on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol "LE." In 2012 it generated $1.6 billion in revenue and approximately $50 million in net income. It had an adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of $107.6 million.

The filing with the SEC also noted that Lands' End believes it "has a deeply rooted tradition of offering excellent quality, value and service along with the Lands' End guarantee, and we seek to reflect that tradition in all of our merchandise."

In the original announcement of the proposed spinoff, Sears Holdings also added that Lands' End is an "iconic brand with the potential to become a more global brand," and the separation would allow for the pursuit of "their own strategic opportunities, optimize their capital structures, attract talent, and allocate capital in a more focused manner while bringing our business unit structure to life outside of the Sears Holdings portfolio."

Sears has spun off other businesses over the past two years, including its Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores and its Orchard Supply Hardware Stores, to raise cash.

Sears Chairman and CEO Edward Lampert disclosed recently that his stake in the company has been reduced to less than 50%.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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