By  on April 26, 2010

William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management will sell its stake in Sears Canada Inc. to Sears Holdings Corp. for almost $560 million.

The companies said Friday that Pershing Square had agreed to off-load all its roughly 18.7 million shares of Sears Canada common stock, representing about 17.3 percent of shares outstanding, for 30 Canadian dollars a share. The purchase price totals about $556.6 million at current exchange.

The sale, expected to close on Tuesday, boosts Sears Holdings’ stake in its Canadian unit to 90.4 percent.

Sears Holdings also reported first-quarter same-store sales through April 21 were up 1.7 percent as Kmart’s rose 3.2 percent and those of Sears domestic stores moved ahead 0.3 percent. The apparel, home and toy categories registered increases at Kmart, while strength in home appliances offset declines in tools and home electronics at Sears. Based on current trends, Sears said it expected first-quarter earnings attributable to shareholders of between zero and 31 cents a diluted share, compared with 21 cents in the comparable 2009 period and the analyst consensus estimate of 4 cents.

Sears’ shares rose $9.12, or 8.1 percent, to $122.01 Friday, hitting a 52-week high of $122.58 in intraday trading.

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