U.S. and European regulators gave the go-ahead for
Sears said Tuesday it had received clearance from the Federal Trade Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office, allowing it to go forward with its proposed $1.9 billion buyout of Lands' End, the Internet and catalog retailer of yuppie casualwear.
deal was announced May 13, and wasn't expected to face any significant regulatory hurdles. For the deal to be completed, at least two-thirds of Lands' End shareholders must agree to sell their shares. The company began its tender offer on May 17, and shouldn't have any trouble getting shareholder approval -- especially since Lands' End founder and Chairman Gary Comer, who owns about 52% of the company, has already agreed to the terms.
Sears shares were off 97 cents at $56.48 in recent trading. However, the stock is up about $6.50 since the deal was announced. Lands' End lately traded at $61.88, just shy of the $62-a-share offer.
While the deal gives Sears a shot at reviving its ailing apparel business, integrating the two companies could be tough, observers say. One worry is that the deal could tarnish Lands' End's reputation for high-quality clothing. Sears plans to roll out Lands' End clothes in its 870 full-line department stores nationwide.