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Sears Board Agrees to Settle Suit Over REIT Tied to Lampert

Sears Holdings Corp.’s Chief Executive Eddie Lampert and other company directors agreed to a $40 million settlement of claims they shortchanged investors in a 2015 deal to sell the struggling retail chain’s prime real estate assets to a trust he allegedly controlled.

Lampert and the directors resolved four lawsuits filed in state court in Delaware over the retailer’s formation of a real-estate investment trust to acquire more than 250 properties, according to court filings. The settlement covers so-called derivative claims, which means the $40 million recovery will go to the company rather than individual investors who sued.

The settlement, made public Thursday, comes as Sears’s shares fell the most in more than three years earlier this week as concerns about its cash burn and dwindling options weigh on the chain. In December, Sears posted its biggest quarterly loss in more than four years and shareholders’ view of the company darkened in January after Moody’s Investors Service cut the chain’s credit rating deeper into junk territory, citing large operating losses.

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