WSL Future of Health Event

Fairholme Capital is boosting Sears stake

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MIAMI — Bruce Berkowitz’s Fairholme Capital Management, the largest outside shareholder of Sears Holdings Corp., disclosed in a December filing that it has bought an additional 390,100 shares of Sears stock since Christmas Eve.

Fairholme now owns a 26.02% stake Sears Holdings, with 27,763,748 total shares.

The only other shareholder with a bigger stake in Sears is Eddie Lampert, the retailer’s chief executive officer, who owns 30,670,247 shares, or 28.75%.

Lampert’s ESL Investments, which owns 20.94% of Sears, is the retailer’s third-largest ­shareholder.

Fairholme stated in a filing on December 18 that it will be in touch with Sears management and the board as well as other significant shareholders regarding its views on Sears’ long-term prospects.

At the time of that filing, Fairholme’s interest in Sears totaled 24.9%, or 26,603,248 shares.

During 2015, Sears’ stock lost 38% of its value.

Fairholme has been a Sears investor for more than a decade, having first reported acquiring shares of the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based retailer during the third quarter of 2005.

Sears ranks as Fairholme’s largest stock holding, comprising approximately 20% of the firm’s reported equity investments, according to the most current data.

Berkowitz began buying more Sears stock on December 3 — 418,500 shares at $18.90 per share, according to filings — when Sears announced a $454 million third quarter loss and its shares fell 6.9%.

Fairholme continued to buy Sears stock daily through December, including 390,100 shares purchased on Christmas Eve.


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