Kmart/Sears Merger Filing Delayed

Slowed down by a modest speed bump on the road toward their $10.5 billion merger, Kmart and Sears said they are temporarily withdrawing a regulatory filing tied to a proposed combination that would create the nation's third-largest retailer.

The move is designed to give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) more time to study the proposed acquisition of Sears by Kmart.

In a joint press release, the two retailers said, “The FTC staff recently requested certain information, which the parties provided, and the staff has requested more time to review it in light of the holiday season.” The two retailers said they remain confident the FTC review will be completed without delaying the merger.

The filing made by the retailers, known as a Hart-Scott

Rodino notification, is required by the government in the case of acquisitions of public companies. Regulators are given 30 days to come up with their opinion on a proposed merger, and in this case the filing was expected to be made again Dec. 28, re-setting the 30-day waiting period from that date.

Kmart agreed to buy Sears for about $10.5 billion in November in a deal they originally hoped to complete some time this spring. The two companies said they remain committed to working with the FTC in its review, and still expect the deal to be done by early March.

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