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Sears Eyes Restoration Hardware

Updated from Nov. 19

SAN FRANCISCO -- Sears Holdings (SHLD) has bought a 13.7% stake in Restoration Hardware (RSTO), and may launch a takeover bid for the home furnishings chain.

Restoration Hardware, whose stock price has been on a steady decline since the beginning of the year, saw a sharp spike in after-hours trading on Monday, jumping 18.5% to $7.50. Meanwhile, shares of Sears were climbing 0.9% to $115.25.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Sears has paid $30.2 million for 5.3 million shares of Restoration Hardware, a struggling chain based in Corte Madera, Calif., which earlier this month agreed to a $267 million buyout offer by private equity firm Catterton Partners.

Under the terms of the buyout, Restoration Hardware, which has more than 100 stores in the U.S. and Canada, has until Dec. 13 to seek higher offers.

Sears said in its filing that it intends to evaluate "the desirability of proposing an acquisition" of Restoration Hardware.

Restoration Hardware, like many retailers in the home furnishing sector, has seen a fall-off in sales as the real estate market continues to slump.

Sears Holdings, run by hedge fund guru Ed Lampert, currently owns the Kmart and Sears chains. Wall Street has been speculating if the company will make an acquisition with its large pile of cash.

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