Lampert’s RBS Cuts Investments in AutoNation, Capital One

Edward Lampert, the billionaire chairman and chief executive officer of Sears Holdings Corp., reported that he and his hedge fund cut stakes in AutoNation Inc. and Capital One Financial Corp.

RBS Partners LP cut its stake in AutoNation Inc. by 13.5 million shares to 34.6 million shares valued at about $1.37 billion as of Dec. 31, according to a filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund, based in Greenwich, Connecticut, also sold 2.15 million shares of Capital One, retaining 845,093 shares valued at about $49 million.

Lampert took over as CEO of Sears this month after Lou D’Ambrosio, who served in the position less than two years, stepped down because of a family health issue. Sales at the Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based merchant have declined since Lampert bought Kmart Holding Corp. out of bankruptcy in 2003 and merged it with Sears, Roebuck & Co. less than two years later.

RBS held 36.3 million Sears shares, a 14 percent decrease, valued at about $1.5 billion. The fund also has 9.1 million shares of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc., which spun off from Sears Holdings in October. That stake was valued at about $295.9 million.

The fund also bought a stake in grocer Safeway Inc., adding 844,926 shares for a holding of about $15.3 million.

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