NEW YORK — Continuing to restructure so it can concentrate on improving its department stores, Sears, Roebuck & Co. will sell its National Tire & Battery division to TBC Corp., a tire distributor and franchisor of tire and automotive service centers.
The $260 million cash deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to the customary regulatory review and closing conditions. Sears expects to recognize a pretax gain in the range of $50 million to $100 million, which will be finalized upon closing.
“This transaction is a further refinement of Sears’ focus on our core business strategy,” Alan J. Lacy, Sears chairman and chief executive, said in a statement Monday. “National Tire & Battery will benefit from being a part of the broader 900-store TBC network.” NTB operates 226 locations and generates annual revenues that exceed $425 million.
Sears has taken other restructuring steps. Last July, it sold its credit operation to Citibank, and this month, it said three Great Indoors stores would shut. Other assets are expected to be sold off, enabling Sears to cut debt, fund improvements in its 870-unit department store chain and buy apparel brands. In May 2002, Sears bought Lands’ End, and this month, the firm acquired the Structure label from Limited Brands. The retailer also opened its first Sears Grand store on Saturday in West Jordan, Utah. It’s a 208,000-square-foot box that sells more categories and merchandise than traditional Sears stores. Consumables will be carried by Sears Grand, including snacks, milk and soft drinks. There is also a plant nursery, and toys are sold year-round. It’s an experiment by Sears, which has set three more Sears Grand openings.