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Sears and Kmart Approved

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Yesterday shareholders of Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Holding Corporation approved the merger of the two companies.

More than 170 million of Sears’ outstanding shares were voted, with approximately 149 million shares or approximately 88 percent of the votes cast and 69 percent of total shares outstanding voted in favor of the merger proposal. More than 61 million of Kmart’s outstanding shares were voted, with 99.9 percent of the votes cast and 69 percent of the shares outstanding voting in favor. The closing of the merger is expected to occur later today.

An Associated Press article says:

“The votes capped off the stunning proposal unveiled four months earlier by Kmart Holding Corp. chairman Edward Lampert, the billionaire hedge fund manager who was the largest individual shareholder in each company.

Lampert, who helped Troy, Mich.-based Kmart turn a $1.1 billion profit last year with the aid of real estate transactions, denied he has a big sell-off in mind for Sears assets and said the new company ‘goes beyond being an investment.’”

”It’s an opportunity to transform two companies that once were great — to transform them into a great company relative to the 21st century,” said Lampert. ”I think there’s a presumption that you’re going to see a lot of store closings. That’s a wrong presumption,” he said. ”Our program is to keep as many stores open as we can.”

Together, Sears and Kmart will form a major new retail company named Sears Holdings Corporation. Sears Holdings stock is expected to start trading on the Nasdaq National Market under the stock symbol “SHLD” on March 28, 2005.

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Sears and Kmart Approved
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