Shares of Sears Holdings Corp. jumped 7.2 percent in early trading after the company said it has sold its Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker in a deal valued at $900 million.
Under the terms of the agreement, Stanley Black & Decker will pay Sears $525 million at the closing of the transaction, plus another $250 million at the end of year three, and annual payments on new Stanley Black & Decker Craftsman sales through year 15. Payments are calculated at a rate of 2.5 percent of sales through 2020, 3 percent through January 2023 and 3.5 percent thereafter. Sears in turn will receive a license to continue to sell Craftsman products that will be royalty free for the first 15 years, but will have to start paying a royalty payment of 3 percent after year 15.
Existing sales of Craftsman branded products outside of Sears Holdings and Sears Hometown distribution channels will be assumed by Stanley Black & Decker upon closing. Those sales not connected to Sears’ distribution channel were about $200 million over the last 12 months.
The transaction has been approved by the boards of both firms.
Sears shares were trading at $11.11 as the market opened.
In October there were rumblings that Sears was close to a deal for its proprietary tools brand for about $2 billion. Stanley Black & Decker was one of the firms that was said to be in discussions for the brand.
Sears is still looking for a buyer for its other two proprietary labels, appliance brand Kenmore and automotive battery brand DieHard. It is also still looking for a buyer for its Sears Home Services business.
Credit analysts have long noted the dire financial straits of the company, noting that it probably needs $1.5 billion in its coffers to stay afloat for another year.
Sears Holdings chairman Edward S. Lampert has reiterated his commitment to enhance Sears’ liquidity while he continues to try to “turnaround” the ailing Sears and Kmart nameplates. Critics in more recent months have started to raise the word bankruptcy, noting that the financial maneuvers over the past few years have been nothing more than a slow liquidation of the company.