Sears to offer stock in financial unitSears, Roebuck and...


December 23, 1992

Sears to offer stock in financial unit

Sears, Roebuck and Co.'s financial arm, Dean Witter, Discover & Co., sought federal clearance yesterday to offer 29.5 million shares of common stock to the public.

The stock offering, which had been expected, would be a prelude to Sears' planned spinoff of the New York-based brokerage, money manager and credit card unit. Sears is jettisoning its financial businesses, except for its Allstate insurance unit, in an effort to shore up its retailing business.

Sears said it will still own more than 82 percent of Dean Witter's common shares after the stock offering.

However, the Chicago-based conglomerate said it plans to spin off Dean Witter by the end of next year by means of a special dividend paid to Sears stockholders out of its holdings in the financial firm.

The company will also divest its Coldwell Banker real estate subsidiary.

Dean Witter includes the Dean Witter Reynolds brokerage and the Discover credit card business.

Dominion shareholders OK First Union merger

Dominion Bankshares Corp. shareholders yesterday overwhelmingly approved a merger with First Union Corp., the expansion-minded North Carolina bank. Assuming federal bank regulators approve the deal, the acquisition would take effect March 31.

At mid-year, Charlotte, N.C.-based First Union was the nation's 11th-largest banking company, with $47.7 billion in assets. Roanoke, Va.-based Dominion ranks as the 57th-largest bank holding company, with $9.7 billion in assets at the end of 1991.

The deal calls for Dominion stockholders to get 0.58 of a First Union share for each Dominion share. The value will be determined on the day of the merger, but it would have been worth $852 million on Sept. 21, the date the deal was announced.

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