SEARS RESPONDS TO SEARS: Sears Holdings Corp., continuing its campaign to acquire all remaining outstanding shares of Sears Canada, said Wednesday it stays committed to its 16.86 Canadian dollar-per-share offer, despite the recommendation of the special committee of the board at Sears Canada that shareholders reject it. The offer expires March 17 at 8 p.m. Sears Holdings, based in Hoffman Estates, Ill., owns 53.8 percent of Sears Canada, the $5.47 billion chain based in Toronto. Alan Lacy, vice chairman of Sears Holdings, contended the offer is fair, that it represents a significant premium to historical trading values and that the special committee overvalues the company based on unrealistic business expectations inconsistent with the competitive Canadian market. Lacy also noted that most directors on the special committee have opted to be compensated in cash rather than stock and that, in the last five years, Sears Canada has only repurchased about 0.5 percent of its outstanding shares, suggesting the board really doesn't put much value in the stock. The deal is valued at $730 million.

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