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Shareholders approve Sears, Kmart merger

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Sears Roebuck & Co. and Kmart Holding Corp. shareholders have approved the merger of the two companies. The closing of the $11 billion merger, which will form a new retail company called Sears Holdings, is expected to occur today.

"The combination of Kmart and Sears will create a leading retailer and we expect will provide heightened value for our customers, associates and shareholders," says Kmart Chairman Edward Lampert.

"Sears Holdings will have an enviable stable of proprietary brands, strong points of distribution and enhanced growth opportunities."

The new company "will better meet the needs of more families with ... products and services available in nearly 3,500 convenient locations," says Sears Chairman and CEO Alan Lacy.

Last November, after the Sears and Kmart boards approved the merger, Lacy predicted that "several hundred" Kmart stores will be turned into Sears outlets.

Sears Holdings is expected to rank as the third-largest retailer in the United States with annual revenue of $55 billion.

It will have more than 2,300 full-line and off-mall stores, plus another 1,100 to 1,300 specialty stores.

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