Struggling retailer Sears has sold its iconic Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker for approximately $900 million U.S.
Sears Holdings, headquartered in Hoffman Estates (Chicago), Illinois, will continue to sell Craftsman-branded products through its retail outlets under a perpetual license agreement. However, the sale will allow Stanley Black & Decker, New Britain, Connecticut, which also owns DeWalt and Porter-Cable, among other trade brands, with the rights to develop, manufacture and sell Craftsman-branded products in non-Sears Holdings retail, industrial and online sales channels across the U.S. and in other countries. Sears will continue to use the Craftsman brand royalty-free for the first 15 years after closing.
“Craftsman is a legendary, American brand with tremendous consumer awareness built on a legacy of producing quality products at a great value,” said Stanley Black & Decker president and CEO James Loree. “This agreement represents a significant opportunity to grow the market by increasing the availability of Craftsman products to consumers in previously underpenetrated channels. We intend to invest in the brand and rapidly increase sales through these new channels, including retail, industrial, mobile and online. To accommodate the future growth of Craftsman, we intend to expand our manufacturing footprint in the U.S.”
Sears Holdings’ chairman and CEO Edward Lampert stated:
“We are pleased to reach this agreement, after determining that externalizing the Craftsman brand would accomplish our goals of driving value for Sears Holdings and positioning Craftsman for future growth… Craftsman has a storied history as an iconic American brand and in Stanley Black & Decker we have found a great owner that is committed to expanding Craftsman and helping it to reach its potential outside of its current channels.”
The transaction was approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close in 2017.