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Sears Rings Up Another Sale


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SEARS RINGS UP ANOTHER SALE

Going, going.... It's another success story for Sears' restructuring. On May 11, Sears Roebuck sold its mortgage-banking group to Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank for $328 million. The deal quadruples the size of PNC's mortgage banking business, catapulting it into the big leagues with Fleet Financial and Countrywide Credit Industries. More important, it marks another victory for embattled Sears Chairman Edward Brennan, who outlined his restructuring plan last year. Already, Sears has realized $775 million from a public offering of 20% of its Dean Witter unit. And later this spring, it could reap $2 billion by selling 20% of its highly profitable insurance business, Allstate, to the public. In all, the company hopes to raise $3 billion to help pay down $4 billion in corporate debt.EDITED BY JULIE TILSNER


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