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Sears begins formal process to explore sale of Kenmore brand

Sears Holdings Corp. has initiated a formal process to explore the sale of its Kenmore appliance brand, along with related assets, the company said May 14.

Through a special committee comprising independent Sears board members, the company will evaluate a letter from Sears CEO Edward Lampert's hedge fund ESL Investments that expressed interest in purchasing Kenmore and other assets. Those related assets include the Sears Home Improvement Products business and the Parts Direct business of the Sears Home Services division.

The committee will also explore other options for the businesses. Sears is not guaranteeing that ESL Investments or a third party will make a formal detailed proposal for Kenmore and the other assets, according to a company press release.

Sears has retained Centerview Partners LLC to serve as investment banker and Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP to serve as legal counsel.

Sears shares jumped 11.84% to $3.82 before noon on May 14.