Sears left many storefronts in the Miami Valley vacant when it filed for bankruptcy, but the company’s new owner is buying local Sears Outlet stores.

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Local Sears Outlet stores that survived bankruptcy closings will be reunited with the Sears department store business under new ownership.

Sears Outlet stores at the North Heights Plaza in Huber Heights and Kettering Towne Center are being purchased by Transform Holdco LLC, the new owner of Sears department stores, according to a statement from Sears Holdco LLC.

The stores spun off in 2012 survived mass closures as hundreds of Sears department stores, including at the Dayton Mall, Mall at Fairfield Commons, Upper Valley Mall in Springfield and Miami Valley Centre Mall in Piqua.

Eddie Lampert, long-time head of Sears, is the largest shareholder of Transform Holdco, which has become known as “the new Sears.”

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Lampert’s hedge fund ESL investments already owns some shares, but Transform Holdco will purchase all other outstanding shares of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc. for $2.25 per share in cash.

“Having these businesses under common ownership will accelerate Transform’s strategy of growing its smaller store format by adding Sears Hometown stores. It will also expand the company’s footprint as a multi-channel business that can serve customers through a variety of shopping experiences to meet their needs, provide growth for Transform’s marquee brands, including Kenmore and DieHard,” according to the statement.

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The businesses will initially operate independently, but Transform sees opportunities to partner and be more efficient with larger scale, Lampert said.

There are 491 Hometown stores and 126 Outlet stores that generated $1.4 billion in net sales in 2018. The acquisition is subject to a marketing process and potential premerger sale of the outlet segment to a third party, according to the statement.

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