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Sears Canada Agrees to Acquire Buying Group - Cantrex Group Inc.

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Sears Canada Inc.announced that it has agreed to acquire Cantrex Group Inc. from a Canadian subsidiary of General Electric Capital Corporation. Cantrex is Canada's largest buying group representing independent merchants of furniture, appliances, electronics, photography equipment and floor coverings. The acquisition also includes Corbeil Electrique Inc., a Montreal-based retailer of major appliances located primarily in Quebec. Corbeil is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cantrex. This transaction is subject to certain closing conditions including regulatory approval. "This is a strategic acquisition that will provide Sears Canada with an opportunity to further develop its merchandising, buying and logistics services in the furniture and appliances sectors," said Brent Hollister, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sears Canada Inc. "It will also provide independent retailers with the opportunity to continue to develop their business within the communities they serve." Additionally, this transaction has the potential to generate revenue growth across many of the Sears Canada business platforms including the Sears Card. The transaction has no operating impact on any of Sears existing off-mall channel businesses such as its dealer stores, floor covering centres and Sears Home stores. "We understand the pressures that independent retailers bear in today's marketplace," continued Mr. Hollister. "We currently work with over 200 independent retailers including our Sears Dealer stores and Floor Covering Centres as well as more than 2,200 catalogue agents. Our experience in these businesses has helped us to understand the unique and important role that local owner/managers bring to their customers. Independent retailers bring significant value to their local market and a connection and commitment to their community. Acquiring Cantrex provides these merchants with the advantages of a major retailer." Sears currently has a network of Sears Dealer stores, Sears Floor Covering Centres and catalogue agents all of which are locally owned and operated within rural and suburban markets. All merchandise sold in the dealer stores and floor covering centres is supported by Sears guarantee of satisfaction as well as Sears extensive Product Repair Service Division, the largest installation, delivery and service network in Canada. In addition, these stores accept Sears and third-party credit cards. About Sears Canada Inc.: Sears Canada, the retailer with the most extensive multi-channel network in the country, began serving customers in 1953. The Company has 48,000 associates and, in an independent consumer survey, ranks high in customer service, trust, respect, and quality products and services. There is a Sears location within a 10-minute drive of 93% of Canadians, and Sears is dedicated to providing them with quality merchandise and exceptional service coast to coast through its 121 full-line department stores, 213 off-mall stores, 64 home improvement showrooms, over 2,200 catalogue merchandise pick-up locations, 112 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide home maintenance, repair, and installation network. The Company also publishes Canada's most extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping online at www.sears.ca. About Cantrex Group Inc.: Cantrex Group Inc. is Canada's largest buying group for independent merchants in the furniture, appliances, electronics, computers, floor covering and photography equipment sectors with more than 1,000 retail outlets across Canada, and offers the benefits of joint purchasing power and effective high-return marketing strategies. The company has business dealings with morethan 400 suppliers throughout North America. About Corbeil Electrique Inc.: Corbeil Electrique Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cantrex Group Inc., is Canada's largest specialty retaile of quality and innovative appliance products and services with 21 franchised stores and six company-owned stores located throughout the province of Quebec and the Ottawa Valley. For further information: Contact: Vincent Power, Sears Canada Inc.,(416) 941-4422, vpower@sears.ca; Anne Witkavitch, GE Vendor Financial Services, (203) 749-3573, anne.witkavitch@ge.com

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