Sears Names Schall CEO of Real Estate Investment Trust

Sears Holdings Corp. named Benjamin Schall chief executive officer of its newly formed real estate investment trust, Seritage Growth Properties.

Schall, previously chief operating officer at mall landlord Rouse Properties Inc. and senior vice president at Vornado Realty Trust, will start in his new position on May 4, Sears said in a statement Wednesday.

“Ben’s deep experience and industry relationships will allow us to accelerate our efforts to reduce the operating footprint of our stores while capitalizing on the value of the underlying real estate,” Edward Lampert, chairman and CEO of Sears, said in the statement.

Sears plans to raise more than $2.5 billion from its real estate. The retailer said earlier this month that Seritage would buy 254 Sears and Kmart locations and then lease them back to the retailer. Sears also will contribute 12 properties to a joint venture with mall operator General Growth Properties Inc. in exchange for $165 million in cash, and 10 properties to a partnership with Simon Property Group Inc. for $114 million.

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