Sears Spinning Off Orchard Supply

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Hoffman Estates, Ill. - Sears said it will spin off its Orchard Supply Hardware Stores home improvement chain, effective Dec. 30.

Upon completion of the spin-off Sears will have no ownership interest in Orchard, which will become a publicly-traded company.

The California chain began as a farmer's cooperative in 1931 and was acquired by Sears in 1996 for $415 million in cash. Sears tested sales of white-goods through Orchard in 2004, but began exploring "strategic alternatives" for the business in 2005 and announced its spin-off intentions last June.

Orchard operates 89 full-service hardware stores in California.


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