Advance Auto Parts will acquire the DieHard brand from Transform Holdco, the parent company of Sears and Kmart, for $200 million in cash. The deal also gives Advance the right to sell DieHard batteries and extend the brand into other automotive and vehicular categories.
Sears will still be able to sell DieHard batteries, and Advance is granting Transform an exclusive royalty-free, perpetual license to develop, market and sell DieHard branded products in non-automotive categories.
“We are excited to acquire global ownership of an iconic American brand,” said Tom Greco, President and CEO of Advance Auto Parts in a statement. “DieHard will help differentiate Advance, drive increased DIY customer traffic and build a unique value proposition for our Professional customers and Independent Carquest partners. DieHard has the highest brand awareness and regard of any automotive battery brand in North America and will enable Advance to build a leadership position within the critical battery category.”
Sears still operates three DieHard stores, but has no plans to open additional locations, and Advance will decide if it wants to keep them open or have them closed, according to CNBC.
News of a potential DieHard sale first surfaced in October, when The Wall Street Journal reported that Sears was reviewing the potential sale of multiple assets. The department store chain sold off the Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores unit to Liberty Tax for $132.9 million earlier in 2019, and the Craftsman tools brand to Black & Decker for $900 million in 2017.
The cash infusion from the sale comes at a critical time for Sears: the retailer recently announced plans to close another 96 stores before February 2020, leaving just 182 locations remaining. The money will be added to approximately $250 million in new financing that Transform Holdco secured from former Sears CEO Eddie Lampert and hedge fund Cyrus Capital Partners LP in November to stave off another bankruptcy filing.