Bruce Berkowitz on Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD) asset value
From Bruce’s letter:
Sears Holdings Corporation Sears Holdings Corporation (“Sears”) common stock, warrants, and bonds comprise 13.2% of Fund assets. Our ongoing valuation work reinforces our longstanding belief that Sears is worth multiples of its current market price (as evidenced in the chart below), largely based on its vast real estate empire and disparate businesses confi gured to sell, deliver, connect, control, service, and replace all manner of consumer products. Throughout the year, the Fund took advantage of price declines to increase its stake.
Last year’s sale of 266 properties for $3.1 billion unlocked one-fourth of the company’s real estate square footage. The properties included in the transaction were not exclusively the crème de la crème of the company’s real estate portfolio as many have falsely asserted. Instead, the quality of the properties included in the transaction closely mirrors the approximately 170 million square feet of real estate retained by Sears today as depicted in the following chart.
Proceeds from the sale were used to reduce corporate debt by $936 million, and the company must now accelerate its return to profitability in order to rebuild confidence with customers, creditors, vendors, employees, and other investors. Doing so should enable Sears to optimize the value of all its assets.