Feb 14, 2005 Issue #23

Cover Story

Coming Kmart/Sears Entity Gets Junked

New York — The impending marriage of Kmart and Sears has met with some skepticism from the Big Three corporate credit rating agencies, each of which has assigned junk-bond status to the combined company once the deal goes through, possibly by next month. Fitch Ratings assigned a BBB-rating to $4 billion in debt at Sears Holding Corp.