Eddie Lampert, former CEO of Sears.

Source: Sears Holdings

Seritage Growth Properties, a real estate investment trust that was spun out of embattled department store chain Sears in 2015, said Tuesday it is exploring strategic alternatives for its business.

The company also announced that former Sears CEO Eddie Lampert, who had been serving as chair of Seritage’s board, is retiring, effective immediately.

Lampert said in a statement that he wanted to have greater flexibility to explore alternatives for his investment in Seritage, which could include participating with parties that may be interested in acquiring certain assets from the company.

As of Sept. 30, Lampert owned a 22.1% interest in the company and about 9.3% of Seritage’s Class A shares, according to a securities filing.

Seritage President and CEO Andrea Olshan added in a statement that the real estate company’s board believes there is an ongoing disconnect between the company’s stock price and net asset value.

“We believe that embarking on this process represents the most efficient way to unlock the full potential of this portfolio,” she said.

Olshan took over as CEO about a year ago, and her focus has been on redeveloping the roughly 170 properties in which Seritage has interests. As of March 2021, Seritage said it no longer has exposure to Sears nor Kmart, as it has been backfilling those spaces with new tenants.

Seritage said Barclays is serving as its financial advisor in the review process.

The company also said Tuesday that current board members David Fawer and Thomas Steinberg will not seek reelection at an annual shareholders meeting. The company is searching for additional board candidates.

Seritage shares closed the day up 7.8%. The stock is down 17% year to date, bringing its market cap to $479 million.

Find the full press release here.

Correction: Sears continues to operate. An earlier version mischaracterized the department store chain.