(Bloomberg) — Seritage Growth Properties, a real estate investment trust that emerged from the Sears bankruptcy, is exploring strategic alternatives including a sale of the company, according to people familiar with the matter.
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New York-based Seritage, which owns property from Alaska to Florida, is working with the investment bank Barclays Plc on the plans. Seritage is open to a full sale of the company or piecemeal disposal of assets, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.
The plans aren’t final and the company could still decide to change course. A representative for Seritage declined to comment while a representative for Barclays couldn’t be reached for comment.
Prospective buyers could include private equity firms, real estate companies and former Sears Chief Executive Officer Eddie Lampert, who currently serves as chairman of Seritage, the people added. Lampert owns a 22.1% interest in the company and owns about 9.3% of the Class A shares, according to a filing last November. A representative for Lampert didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Since Andrea Olshan took over as CEO of Seritage a year ago, she has sought to refocus the company and divest non-core properties to raise capital for developing more profitable sites. Its strategy has been to try to attract new tenants and redevelop former Sears properties at malls across the country.
The company has terminated its leases connected to Sears and said in a press release last year that, as of March 2021, it has no remaining exposure to Sears or Kmart. Sears Holdings Corp. filed for bankruptcy in 2018. Its portfolio has interests in 170 properties comprised of approximately 10 million square feet of gross leasable area, a filing showed.
Seritage shares closed at $9.22 apiece on Friday, giving the company a market value of about $402 million. Its shares have fallen about 54% year over year.
Seritage has a $1.44 billion loan from Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The company and Warren Buffett’s investment firm renegotiated the loan, according to a filing from earlier this year, and extended its maturity to 2025.
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